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The official statements
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 10:17 PM

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Originally published Jan. 11, 1993

Six people involved in Friday's tragedy at Brown's Chicken & Pasta, in Palatine, spoke publicly Sunday. Here are excerpts of what they said.

'Our community will pull together'

"We are a very close knit school at Palatine High School so obviously we are very stunned by this tragedy.

With a school of about 2,000 students you may think it's difficult to have a family atmosphere, but it does exist at Palatine High School. I think ifs that atmosphere and the camaraderie between students, staff and our community that will help us get through this crisis."

- Palatine High School Principal Nancy Robb

'Everyone at other stores is afraid'

"We at our company just feel terrible for the families of the victims.

I want to apologize to some of the reporters who called me at home last night I just didn't know what answers to give and if I was rude to the reporters, I didn't mean to be.

We're just kind of taking this not even a day at a time but an hour at a time.

Everyone (at other stores) is afraid, but they realize this is an isolated case. We've been in business for 40 years and there has never been a tragedy like this."

- Frank Portillo, president, Brown's Chicken & Pasta

'We have a wonderful community'

"To say that this incident is a tragedy ... there are no words that can describe what's happened, but what's come out of this is our community.

We nave a wonderful community full of families and they have rallied together.

There have been phone calls after phone calls from people in the community saying, 'What can I do'

Can I give money, can I provide food for the families? My priest talked about the Bible and the second chapter talks about a murder with Cain and Abel and there is violence in the world, but we must have faith and I believe that's part of the community's spirit."

- Village President Rita Mullins

'The best legal talents available'

"We can assure you that we have the best legal talents that the state's attorney's office has available to assist in the investigation.

We can also assure you that we are certainly treating everyone with respect and following the requirements of the law and procedures."

- Tony Calabrese, assistant state's attorney; chief deputy state's attorney for criminal matters

'Churches are available to help'

"The people (chaplains) who I called to come came very quickly yesterday at about 5 o'clock in the morning, and put in incredibly long hours.

In addition to that, a member of my staff marshaled forces to call a meeting last night for community people and from that meeting we have a list of churches who are available to deal with anyone in the community who has fears and concerns about having children work."

- Dean Hokel, director of pastoral services at Northwest Community Hospital

'They're the biggest troupers I know'

"The Ehlenfeldt family really felt a strong need to express some sympathy to the other victims and their families.

We've not seen any of them and we just want them to know we're thinking of them. We are not thinking of ourselves. We're thinking of them, and they certainly are in our prayers.

I wanted everybody to know that the Ehlenfeldt family - Dick and Lynn and the girls - just have been a very closely knit strong family, a very religious family. I just wanted everybody to know what kind of wonderful people they are.

The girls are doing fine. I guess they're the biggest troupers I know. The decisions that are being made are being made by them.

The rest of us are there to help them and guide them. They're very strong.

I think everyone who knows them will remember them for their caring concern for their family, for their community. They were very community-oriented people. From the time Dick and Lynn got married, they were always involved in community projects."

- Ann Telchow, Richard Ehlenfeldt's sister, speaking for relatives who have gathered with the couple's daughters - Jennifer, Joy and Dana.