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Cops release 911 call, possible motive in '07 Schaumburg murder
By Eric Peterson | Daily Herald Staff

Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl, right, reveals new information about the suspected motive in Keith Daugherty's murder last year, as Detective Art Kwiatkowski listens in, during a press conference on the case's one-year anniversary.


Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

An artist's rendering of Keith Daugherty's murderer, as he appeared to Daugherty's wife Amy on the day of the attack last year.


Schaumburg police say this pickup truck, including its metallic brown color, closely resembles the pickup truck used by Keith Daugherty's killer in his getaway.


Murder victim Keith Daugherty, 40, of Schaumburg is believed to have been targeted for robbery by his killer on Feb. 21, 2007. Police suspect his attacker may have known about a marijuana-growing scheme Daugherty was involved with.


Courtesy of Schaumburg Police

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Published: 2/20/2008 4:17 PM | Updated: 2/21/2008 12:08 AM

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Schaumburg police believe murder victim Keith Daugherty might have been targeted for robbery a year ago because his killer knew of his involvement in a marijuana-growing scheme in Poplar Grove.

On the eve of the first anniversary of Daugherty's unsolved murder, police held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to unveil more details about the robbery motive they suspect. They also released a recording of the frantic 911 call placed by Daugherty's wife during the attack.

"I need some help," Amy Daugherty tells the 911 operator at about 8:45 a.m. on Feb. 21, 2007.

She tells of a male intruder she doesn't recognize who's come in through the front door her husband answered at their home at 1414 Somerset Lane. Amy Daugherty no longer lives there.

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"He's yelling at my husband," she continues. "He's got a big knife!"

The call cuts out as she describes the man coming toward her. By the time the operator calls her back moments later, she's given the attacker a few hundred dollars and he's run off, leaving her husband on the floor, bleeding from what turned out to be a fatal stab wound to the neck but still breathing.

Amy Daugherty then tells the operator the man is driving off in a truck and seems to hesitate at the end of the block, as if lost on the twisting suburban streets.

Wednesday, Schaumburg police Sgt. John Nebl appealed for the public's help in identifying and locating Daugherty's killer, saying just one phone call could do it.

The probe into his death was only hours old when two particular acquaintances of his were located and questioned, police said.

It was discovered that Daugherty, 40, shared a marijuana-growing partnership with these two acquaintances at a house in Poplar Grove, near Rockford, which he'd visited only the day before, authorities said.

Though a questioning of these acquaintances has not unearthed a suspect, police believe the killer might have known about the partnership and believed Daugherty to be in possession of money as a result of it.

The marijuana-growing operation ended that same day and no drug charges have been filed or are being pursued, Nebl said. The only aim of the ongoing investigation is to find Daugherty's killer, for which his family has established a $10,000 reward.

"Anyone who may have knowledge should have no fear of contacting us," Nebl said.

Those who might have useful information are encouraged to call Schaumburg Detective Greg Klebba or Detective Art Kwiatkowski at (847) 882-3534.

The killer is described as 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall with a thin build and weighing about 185 pounds. At the time of the attack, he was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and sunglasses.

His getaway vehicle is described as a full-size, two-door metallic brown pickup truck with a matching cap over the rear bed with no side windows. It had Illinois plates, and police said the only thing Amy Daugherty could tell police was she believed there was a numeral 1 somewhere in the middle of the license plate number.