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'Prime suspect' in Darien murders found in Florida
By Marco Santana and Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Jacob Nodarse

 

Lori and Jeffrey Kramer

 

Michael Kramer

 

 1 of 3 
 
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Published: 3/3/2010 8:27 AM | Updated: 3/4/2010 8:49 AM

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A man identified as a "prime suspect" in the triple slaying of a Darien family and captured outside his parents' home in southern Florida Wednesday is due in Florida court today.

Jacob B. Nodarse, 23, an automobile technician from Countryside, was arrested at about 3 p.m. on a DuPage County warrant for obstruction of justice charges after the morning manhunt ended in Lehigh Acres, a small town just east of Fort Myers.

It's unclear if Nodarse will waive extradition charges and expedite the process to come back here for questioning regarding the triple homicide in Darien earlier this week.

Detectives are at Lee County jail in Florida to question Nodarse about what has been described as a "premeditated hit" targeting at least one of the Kramer family.

Meanwhile, back in Illinois, the 28-year-old ex-boyfriend of the slain couple's daughter has remained held without charges since early Tuesday at the Darien police station, law enforcement sources said.

Jeffrey Kramer, 50, his wife, Lori, 48, and son Michael, 20, were each shot multiple times with the same gun early Tuesday after being ambushed in their home in an upscale Tara Hill subdivision on Kilkenny Drive.

The slain couple's daughter, Angela, 25, made a frantic 3 a.m. 911 call while cowering in an upstairs closet.

With news cameras nearby, more than a half-dozen U.S. Marshal officers closed in Wednesday on Nodarse as he slept in a minivan outside his parents' house, Deputy U.S. Marshal Rick Jessup said. Nodarse, who does not have a violent criminal history, did not resist arrest.

Nodarse's blue 1994 BMW - the subject of an intense police search earlier in the day - also was recovered nearby.

Nodarse has not been charged with murder. His neighbors in South suburban Countryside said they saw several uniformed police officers swarm a building where public records show he recently lived.

Authorities are investigating a link between Nodarse and Angela Kramer's ex-boyfriend, who lived in the Willow Springs and Countryside areas. Several search warrants, including of both men's bank and cellular phone records, have been issued, sources said.

The ex-boyfriend has not been charged with any wrongdoing. He does not have a violent history, either. But he had been involved in a bitter custody dispute with Angela Kramer and her family over his 13-month-old son, court records showed. He voluntarily went to the Darien police station at 8 a.m. Tuesday with attorney Marc Wolfe after seeing television coverage of the family tragedy. The ex-boyfriend immediately blurted out his alibi - that he was gambling at a riverboat at 3 a.m. during the fatal shootings, the sources said.

Police recovered video surveillance footage from the riverboat that appears to support his alibi, sources said, though the footage still is being analyzed.

Besides Angela Kramer, there were two other survivors. Her older brother, Anthony, 29, was found climbing out of a window in his basement bedroom when officers arrived, while Michael Kramer's 17-year-old girlfriend also escaped the bloodshed and fled to a neighbor's home for shelter.

A forensic pathologist conducted all three autopsies Wednesday. Each victim died of multiple gunshots wounds, officials said. None of the shots were from point-blank range and there were no defensive wounds.

The three survivors did not witness the fatal shootings and none of them was physically injured, police said.

The attacker is believed to have entered through a large window that was shattered in the front of the home, sources said. They said nothing appeared stolen from the home. A police dog tracked a scent through the family's backyard but lost it after reaching a nearby street, the sources said. They said the killer likely had a car parked there to flee the neighborhood, just north of I-55, east of Lemont Road.

Jeffrey Kramer owned Kramer's Auto Repair & Towing in Cicero, which he took over from his father, who founded the business. Detectives interviewed several of his employees as part of the investigation.