Suspect in Darien murders in custody

March 4, 2010 5:42:34 AM PST
A man described by authorities as the prime suspect in the shooting deaths of three members of a southwest suburban family was arrested Wednesday.

Jacob Nodarse, 23, was captured 1,300 miles from the crime scene. Police are not saying how he is connected to the case.

The sheriff in Lee County, Florida, told ABC7 that Nodarse was taken into custody at his parents' home in Lehigh Acres by U.S. Marshals and sheriff's deputies. He was arrested on an unrelated obstruction of justice charge. He will be held on that charge while police and prosecutors in Illinois work to bring him back to the area.

Nodarse is scheduled to appear in court for the first time in Florida Thursday morning. DuPage County authorities are expected to begin extradition proceedings as well. Nodarse has not been charged in connection to the Darien homocides. His car was impounded Thurdsday night, however, although authorities had not yet searched it for evidence.

Officials in Florida said an all-points bulletin for Nodarse and a 1994 BMW Coupe with Illinois plates was sent out on Wednesday because he may be a suspect in Tuesday's deadly home invasion. Authorities were warned Nodarse, who has family in Florida, was armed and dangerous. He was seen in Jasper, Florida, about 1 a.m. Wednesday and then arrested at his parent's home, according to published reports.

The police bulletin cautioned officers the suspect may be suicidal and warned them he is believed to be armed with a 40-caliber Glock.

"The family members were cooperating. He was sleeping in the van and didn't realize that we were there. And he was able to be taken into custody without incident," said Rick Jessup, U.S. Marshal.

Early Tuesday morning, 50-year-old Jeffery Kramer; his 48-year-old wife, Lori; and their 20-year-old son Michael were found shot to death.

The couple's daughter, Angela, 25, called 911. Police found her hiding in a closet. Another son, Anthony, 29, and a 17-year-old identified as Michael's girlfriend were also home during the crime. But they escaped and were not harmed.

Investigators returned to the Kramer home Thursday night combing for evidence apparently to build their case against Nodarse. They had no comment.

Darien police are offering no information about Nodarse's connection to the family or a possible motive for shooting Jeffrey and Lori Kramer and their son, Michael. He shot the three victims execution style leaving three others hiding inside the house.

"This is southwest Florida, Florida in general, is a very big hiding spot for fugitives coming down from the north. It is a very large state, transient, easy to blend in and obviously in this case a lot of family members come down this so it's an easy place to come and hide," said Jessup.

Nodarse previously worked as a service technician at several car dealerships including one in Westmont. Neighbors tell ABC7 they have never seen him before and the crime makes no sense to them.

"I think it's one of those undescribable experiences. You would never expect something like this and certainly not to that family," said Janet Viane, victims' friend and neighbor.

Nodarse's grandmother lives in Tinley Park. She told the Chicago Tribune she just had dinner with him on Sunday and he seemed normal. She described him as quiet and mild mannered and she said she was shocked to hear he had been arrested in connection to the crime.