Mundelein murder: Teen girl accused of murdering 11-year-old over chores

Mundelein murder: A 14-year-old girl was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of an 11-year-old girl who shared her home in suburban Chicago.

Paul Valade/Daily Herald/AP
Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther speaks at a news conference Jan. 21 about an 11-year-old girl who was stabbed to death inside a home in Mundelein the day before. The Lake County State's Attorney's office said they've approved a first-degree murder charge against a 14-year-old girl in the killing. Officials say both girls lived in the same Mundelein home, about 30 miles northwest of Chicago. No parent was home at the time of the slaying.

A 14-year-old girl was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of an 11-year-old girl who was stabbed more than 30 times at the suburban Chicago home where they both lived.

During a court hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said the suspect told authorities the 11-year-old didn't appreciate all she had done for her, including making dinner and doing the younger girl's chores. Authorities haven't released the names of the victim or the suspect, nor have they said how the two are related.

Dr. Thomas Rudd, the county's coroner, said the victim died of "multiple sharp force injuries." He said the girl had stab wounds to her face, neck, chest and arms, and that two stab wounds penetrated her upper left lung. He also said there were indications that the younger girl fought for her life, including defensive wounds on her left hand that indicated she "probably grabbed the knife" and a defensive wound on her right thumb.

Rudd said police recovered the knife believed to have been used in the attack and that judging from the injuries. It's about 4 inches long.

Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said a juvenile court judge approved the first-degree murder charge against the older girl during Wednesday's juvenile court hearing. A state's attorney spokeswoman said the suspect was being held in a juvenile detention center.

Mundelein police Chief Eric Guenther said the older girl called 911 after the attack and was arrested after police found the victim's body on a bedroom floor.

Prosecutors said the suspect first told police that a Hispanic man broke into the home, attacked the younger girl and ran off. During questioning, the 14-year-old allegedly confessed to the crime, saying she woke up Tuesday and waited up to 15 minutes before going downstairs, grabbing a knife and attacking the victim.

The girls lived in the same Mundelein home, about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, and attended the same Lake County school, investigators said at a news conference Wednesday.

No adult was home at the time of the slaying. The discovery of the body Tuesday morning prompted a brief lockdown at nearby schools.

"We are very confident this is an isolated incident and there are no other concerns to the neighbors and or the community around it," Guenther said.

Nerheim said he'll decide in several weeks whether to try to have the case moved from juvenile court to an adult court.

The victim and the suspect attended St. John's Lutheran School in Libertyville.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our children," school spokesman Steven C. Fuoco told the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights. "We recognize this is a very difficult time for the family, friends and classmates. We have made arrangements for spiritual and professional assistance for our school family."

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.