Schaumburg murder probe renews suspicions about 2011 crash that killed eye doctor's wife
McHenry County authorities say they are monitoring Cook County's investigation into the stabbing death of an Algonquin eye doctor's girlfriend for any connection to the death of the doctor's wife in a 2011 car crash.
Anthony R. Prate, 55, of the 1400 block of Spring Hill Drive, is charged with first-degree murder in the death last month of his 48-year-old girlfriend, Malgorzata B. "Margaret" Daniel of Schaumburg. Authorities said Prate stabbed Daniel 20 to 30 times.
Lake in the Hills police and the McHenry County state's attorney's office announced in a joint statement Monday they are monitoring the investigation and will continue to evaluate information for any bearing it may have on the death of Bridget Prate in March 2011.
Bridget Prate was a passenger when a 2009 Nissan driven by Anthony Prate crossed the centerline of Pyott Road in Lake in the Hills and struck a 2008 Chevrolet before spinning off the road and hitting a tree and a fence.
Bridget Prate was pronounced dead at Sherman Hospital in Elgin.
The autopsy indicated the cause of Bridget Prate's death was undetermined.
In 2014, members of her family hired private investigator Bruce Johnson, a retired master sergeant with the Illinois State Police, to look into her death.
Johnson said Monday that he found several red flags in the Prate crash.
Johnson said the crash was relatively low-impact, and yet when paramedics reached Bridget Prate, she had no pulse.
Johnson said it was highly unlikely for a person to die at the scene of a low-impact crash where doctors weren't able to easily identify a broken neck or other fatal injury.
"It's one in a million," he said.
According to Johnson's investigation, Anthony Prate told police he lost control of the car when his wife took off her seat belt to go into the back seat to grab a bottle of water and her purse.