19-year-old's body found in Hoffman Estates

September 5, 2008 4:02:14 PM PDT
Police in the northwest suburbs are investigating the death of a man found dead in his home.Authorities say Joseph Ziegler, 19, was shot in the head.

Ziegler was studying criminal justice at Harper College. He graduated from Schaumburg High School in 2007. He played footballand was a leader on the varsity team. His coach told the Daily Herald he was energetic and had a great work ethic. Guidance counselors were speaking with Schaumburg students Friday.

Thursday night shortly after 6 p.m., police were called to his home in the 300 block of Payson Street.

Neighbors said crime in the area was extremely rare. Authorities said Friday that residents should not concerned that a gunman is committing random acts of violence.

"We believe, at this point, it was a targeted shooting. It was not a random act. There were no signs of forced entry, nothing missing from the home," said Lt. Rich Russo of the Hoffman Estates police.

According to area residents, Ziegler lived in the home with his father and younger sister. After returning home from work Thursday, the young man's father found his body in the basement.

"Last night, I got home from work. I saw the police. I was nervous. I didn't know what was going on," neighbor Jose Garcia said.

Those who live in the Hoffman Estates neighborhood said there was a lot of activity at the Ziegler home. They also said Joseph had a lot of friends and often had late-night parties and visitors.

"A lot of noise early in the morning, a lot of going and coming from the hosue," said neighbor Clare Orlandino.

Investigators have been at the scene since Thursday night. There were early reports that multiple shots were fired, but according to the medical examiners office, Ziegler died of a single gunshot wound to the head.

"This is such a tragedy, and I guess they still don't know who has done this. I'm sure the neighbors are very shaken over this," Orlandino said.

"We feel it was a targeted act. If [citizens] have any information, they should contact police," Russo said.

More than 30 detectives have been assigned to the case. Police are calling it a homicide investigation. Although it seemed authorities had an idea of who they were looking for, no one was in custody Friday evening.


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