A small Illinois town was in shock and mourning Thursday while
authorities tried to determine how a sibling argument became so heated
that a 14-year-old stabbed and slashed her 11-year-old half sister to
death with a kitchen knife.
Police in the Village of Mundelein say
the suspect stabbed her victim more than 30 times in a rage, later
claiming her sister did not appreciate the cooking and other chores the
suspect performed around the home they shared with their mother.
"(It's) heartbreaking beyond understanding," Mayor Steve Lentz told the local Daily Herald newspaper.
Mundelein High School Board member Tami Forman told the paper she knows the girls and was shocked by the crime.
"I'm dumbfounded," she said. "They were both such wonderful children."
juvenile court judge approved a first-degree murder charge Wednesday.
Prosecutors said they had not determined whether they would seek to have
the case moved to adult court.
Mundelein, a village of about
31,000 people about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, is a relatively
wealthy community. It boasts a median family income of more than
$80,000. About 90% of Mundelein High School grads pursue further
education. The average home price exceeds $400,000. It's a place not
accustomed to horrendous crimes.
But on Tuesday, the suspect
called 911 saying their had been a stabbing -- and had blood on her arms
when officers arrived at the scene, WLS-TV in Chicago reported. Lake
County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said the girl first claimed she
had been awakened by her siser's screams and had seen a Hispanic man
stabbing her and then running away.
Police entered the home and
found the victim, stabbed to death, and a knife on a bedspread nearby.
Prosecutors said that when police warned the suspect that DNA testing
might tell a different tale, the girl admitted she had killed her
Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Claudia Kasten said
the 14-year-old accused the victim of hitting her and of failing to
appreciate the suspect's efforts to keep the household running, the Chicago Tribune reported.
The girls' mother was the only adult living in the home, the Tribune said.
girl said she had cooked dinner several times along with performing
other chores, the prosecutor said at Wednesday's hearing. Kasten said
the teen allegedly fetched a kitchen knife.
"A struggle ensued," Kasten said. "She kept stabbing."