Authorities: $5,000 reward offered in Hinsdale woman's slaying
A 51-year-old woman found Thursday inside her Hinsdale home died of wounds consistent with multiple blunt force trauma, DuPage County law enforcement authorities said Friday.
They said they are investigating the death of Andrea Urban, a single mother who lived on the west side of town with her two children, as a homicide.
An autopsy was performed Friday while police returned to the house to continue searching for clues.
Police released a statement saying they have made progress in the case but much investigative work remains.
"While I am pleased with our efforts so far on this investigation, which is still in its early stages, we will not be fully satisfied until we can identify, arrest and prosecute the offender responsible for Ms. Urban's homicide," Hinsdale Chief Kevin Simpson said. "No one wants this case solved more than Ms. Urban's family, our investigators and the Hinsdale community. We are prepared to work as hard and as long as we have to in order to bring this case to a conclusion."
The Illinois State Crime Commission is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case, ABC 7 Chicago reported.
Officers responded to a family member's 911 call Thursday afternoon and found Urban dead when they arrived at 3:37 p.m., police said.
Stu Seman, who has lived across the street from Urban and her children for nine years, called her a quiet, hardworking mom.
Seman, who said his retirement has allowed him to keep an eye on the neighborhood and the adjacent park, said Thursday was a quiet, normal day as he mowed his lawn.
But he said he knew something was wrong around 3:30 p.m.
"The boy came home and went inside and he came back out looking a little distraught. Then his grandparents and little sister arrived," Seman said. "(The daughter) entered the house and then we heard the most heart-wrenching, bloodcurdling screams you've ever heard. We saw the children and their grandparents, so we knew it had to be Andrea."
From that moment on, he said, his normally quiet street has been full of police vehicles and officers.
"They were here all night," he said, "And they were back this morning combing through bushes and landscaping. They got on the roof, too."
Police said that while Urban died under suspicious circumstances, they do not believe the community is at risk.
"First, if anyone saw any suspicious activity near the home or anywhere in town, please let us know so we can investigate it as possible ties to this homicide," Simpson told ABC 7.
Urban grew up in Hinsdale and returned to her hometown in 2008, according to a profile of her that appeared last year in the weekly newspaper The Hinsdalean.
She graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in 1984 and became an actor in New York City before returning home, where she landed small roles in TV shows such as "Chicago P.D." and "Chicago Fire" and performed in television commercials.
She worked with BNB-Chicago Model and Talent Agency in Hinsdale.
"She was very professional," BNB co-founder JoAnna Underwood told ABC 7. "She has a very long resume and has been in the business for a long time."
The Hinsdalean story said she was battling chronic myeloid leukemia.
Almost every Sunday, Urban was in the front of at Hinsdale Covenant Church with her daughter. The church held a special service in her memory Friday night.
"We are so thankful for the time that we had with her and to watch her grow in faith, to grow in her relationship with God," Pastor Lars Stromberg told ABC 7. "This is a tragedy and this is something that we are grieving in this community."
Her battle with leukemia forced her to put her acting career on hold at times. The church was where she went for support, Stromberg said.
"She definitely had needs, health needs, health concerns with her battle with leukemia. I think she found a community who was willing to hang on to her," Stromberg said.
Hinsdale police are working with the DuPage state's attorney's office and the county's major crimes unit as part of the probe.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at (630) 789-7070.