Police charge suspect in triple stabbing deaths

3 dead; 2 others wounded
April 17, 2009 8:45:39 PM PDT
Three people were stabbed to death and two others, one of whom is charged in the slayings, were wounded during an early morning fight Friday at a home in a quiet suburban Chicago neighborhood, authorities said. Alan Engelhardt, 57, and Marlene Gacek, 73, were found dead at the home and Laura Engelhardt, 18, died at the hospital, said Hoffman Estates police Lt. Rich Russo. A fourth person remained hospitalized.

D'andre Howard, 20, of Hoffman Estates was charged later Friday with three counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide and one count of unlawful restraint, Russo said. Howard is due in a Rolling Meadows bond court on Saturday.

Howard also was injured in the fight, Russo said. He was taken to the hospital and released to police, who questioned him at the Hoffman Estates police department, Russo said.

Autopsies were scheduled for Saturday and authorities did not disclose how everyone was related.

The call came in at 6:44 a.m. and when police arrived they found a bloody scene. Five people had been stabbed, including the suspect who has been released from the hospital but was taken immediately into police custody.

Investigators continue to move evidence from the home on Friday evening. The bodies of two of the victims remained in the home much of the day. Alan Engelhardt and Marlene Gacek were already dead when police arrived.

"A knife or knife-type weapon was used," said Russo.

Paramedics transported Laura and her mother Shelly to the hospital. Doctors were unable to save Laura, however. The high school senior died on Friday afternoon.

"Everybody was down. It was completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop," said Anthony Laudando, Conant High School Student.

"Teachers were crying. A girl in my class was crying, too, because she knew girl," said Anthony Marzulli, Conant High School Student.

People came to mourn at their church.

"Loving family. They would open their doors for strangers. I mean, kind. For someone to do this to them is unspeakable," said Cynthia McAdam, family friend.

"It hurts our heart. Our hearts go out to their family. We love them very much and we miss them," said Brad Irvin, neighbor.

Police have charged Howard with homicide and attempted homicide.

"They spoke highly of this kid. They thought he was good. They thought he was a good kid," said McAdam.

The police have not released any information about Howard's background.

In the meantime, Shelly is listed in critical condition in the hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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