Victim's family wants CTA robber-turned-killer caught

May 5, 2011 4:39:41 AM PDT
A simple iPhone theft that led to the death of a CTA commuter in March captured the attention of many Chicagoans.

One month later, the trail has gone cold, but the woman's family isn't giving up hope.

"I mean he didn't intend to kill her but he did intend to throw a 68-year-old woman down the stairs. I don't understand a person who does that," said Kimberly Katona, victim's daughter

On March 28, Sally Katona King finished her Monday like she had so many others -- by taking the CTA home from her work as a Lutheran bishop's assistant.

At the Fullerton "L" stop, unbknownst to King, another commuter had her iPhone snatched as she exited the train.

"From my personal experience, I don't believe this is the first time this person has done this," said Chicago Police Sergeant Debra DeYoung.

Sergeant DeYoung was called to investigate a crime that may have gone largely unnoticed, and perhaps unreported, if not for how it ended. As the robber made his get-away, he knocked the 68 year-old grandmother down a flight of stairs and to her death.

"We are confident that this person was on the train riding and we believe he actually even sat behind the victim, that he intended to rob of her cell phone," said DeYoung.

"I would have thought this man would have had a conscience and turned himself in," said Eileen Katona, victim's daughter.

"If there isn't something that calls him to account, forces him to stop, to pay the price, if you will for, what he's done. Someone else is going to have to be the victim before that behavior changes," said Bishop Wayne Miller, Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

Police had hoped surveillance tape would give them a good image of the suspect but it did not. But detectives managed to round up many of the people who were on that train car, and together they pieced together a sketch of the man who remains on the loose.

As the for the young woman who lost her iPhone to the crook, she stayed with Sally Katona King until paramedics arrived and has kept in touch with her daughters.

"She wishes she wasn't there with her phone that day because maybe this wouldn't have happened. But if it wasn't her, it would have been somebody else," said Eileen Katona.

And that's why the family so desperately wants the robber-turned-killer caught.


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