Elgin police seek help solving city's first homicide of 2013
Police were releasing few details Sunday about the slaying of a 33-year-old Elgin woman found dead in her townhouse early Saturday morning, but expected to hold a news conference later in the day to update their investigation.
Investigators are not yet certain whether the killing of Lisa Koziol-Ellis was a targeted or random act, said Elgin Police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault.
"We can't commit either way," he said.
Authorities are asking that residents in the Garden Quarter Townhomes, where Koziol-Ellis recently moved in with her husband, watch for suspicious activity and report it to police. Police have made no arrests and had no suspects in custody as of Sunday afternoon.
"We will leave no stone unturned until we find who committed this crime," Theriault said. "I understand the community wants to know what they should do. We are asking to redouble their efforts doing what we always ask of them ... it may be just a little piece of information we need to solve this crime."
Neighbors said Koziol-Ellis and her husband had started moving into the townhouse, in the 0-100 block of Garden Crescent Court, earlier in the week. Sandra Schmulbach, president of the Garden Quarter Townhome Association, said the couple were from Chicago.
Salvador Santoyo, who lives next door to Koziol-Ellis, said he was getting ready for bed about 1 a.m., Saturday, when heard three loud thumps on the shared wall between their townhouses and then a groan.
"Someone tried to scream, that was it," Santoyo said. "To me, that was normal because I thought she was moving things around."
By 2:30 a.m., police were on the scene to investigate Koziol-Ellis' death. Her husband found her body in the home, called 911 immediately and has been fully cooperating with the investigation ever since, Theriault said.
An autopsy is scheduled for Monday. The killing marks the first homicide of 2013, Theriault said.
An email alert Schmulbach sent out to neighbors Saturday night reminds them to keep their doors locked, their porch lights on and to call police if they see anything out of the ordinary.
The townhouse Koziol-Ellis and her husband bought had been unoccupied for about two years and several neighbors were excited someone was finally moving in. Many were looking forward to becoming their friends.
"I was hoping to get to know them, new neighbors, you know?," said Pam Pouse, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 10 years.
On Sunday, several news vans and a police squad car were parked in the quiet neighborhood, which is just east of McLean Boulevard on Wing Street.
Joanne Johnson has lived in the neighborhood for 13 years and said she isn't used to all of this attention. And because the case remains under investigation, Johnson also fears for her and her teenage daughter's safety.
"It's frightening, I don't know what happened to (Koziol-Ellis)," Johnson said. "I was concerned if it was a break-in, how safe are we here? I guess until we find out what happened, I'm going to be a little afraid."
Anyone with information is asked to call Elgin police at (847) 695-4195 or (847) 289-2700.