Authorities: Lake Villa man stabbed or cut 9-year-old daughter, himself to death
A Lake Villa father stabbed or cut his 9-year-old daughter and then himself to death, according to police who discovered the bodies Thursday afternoon at the father's home.
The Lake County coroner's office identified the girl as Adrianna Anderson of Island Lake and her father as Christopher Anderson, 36. Both died as a result of sharp force trauma, according to a coroner's office news release, indicating they died from stabbings or cuts.
The girl suffered multiple wounds, while the father inflicted a fatal wound on himself, said Lt. Christopher Covelli, Lake County Major Crime Task Force spokesman. The deaths are being investigated as a murder-suicide, Covelli said.
Lake Villa police and the task force continue to investigate the deaths, including a motive. Investigators are looking into the possibility of mental illness in Anderson's background, Covelli said.
Adrianna Anderson was a fourth-grader at Robert Crown School in Wauconda. Wauconda Unit School District 118 released a statement offering condolences.
"Adrianna will be remembered as a charismatic and sweet little girl whose smile warmed the hearts of all," it said.
Police went to the home on Briar Ridge Lane about 2:15 p.m. Thursday for a well-being check on the child after her mother informed them the girl was absent from school.
Police entered the home and found the girl and her father dead in the same room, according to Covelli. There was no evidence of a struggle.
According to police, the girl's mother and father live separately but share custody. Covelli said the couple were never married and had been apart for several years. The girl lived with her mother.
The mom agreed to allow the girl to stay with her father Wednesday night, authorities said.
"It was always very amicable, from what we have learned thus far, regarding sharing custody of the child," Covelli said.
The mother is working with investigators, he said.
Covelli said Christopher Anderson was recently laid off from his job in the roofing business. Anderson was renting the residence. The property's owner is working with investigators, Covelli said.
When the mother learned her daughter had not been in school Thursday, she attempted to call the father. Unable to reach him, she contacted police for a well-being check, Covelli said.
"This is an incredibly tragic set of circumstance, and our deepest condolences go out to the family of the child," Lake Villa Police Chief Craig Somerville said in a news release. "I want to reassure the Lake Villa community that there is no evidence to suggest there is a threat to the public."
The home is in the Savanna Springs subdivision. All was quiet Friday in the neighborhood of ranch and two-story homes and double garages. The house backs up to the Eagle Creek Natural Wetlands Conservation Area.
District 118's statement said members of the district's students services team are available in person or virtually over the weekend to meet with students who need support.
"During tragic times, it is important that we, as a school community, reach out, check in, and ensure that we are caring for and supporting students and families," the district said. " ... One of the best ways to support your child in difficult times is to be a good listener. If he or she wants to talk, answer his or her questions simply and honestly and be prepared to answer the same question repeatedly."
• Daily Herald staff writers Doug T. Graham, John Starks and Steve Zalusky contributed.