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Authorities call news conference in Darien slaying
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

Jacob Nodarse


Mike Kramer


Lori and Jeffrey Kramer


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Published: 3/6/2010 11:39 AM | Updated: 3/6/2010 2:42 PM

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Authorities called a 1:30 p.m. news conference today to announce updates in the ongoing investigation into a Darien triple slaying.

Jacob Nodarse was escorted back to Illinois late Friday to face prosecution on obstruction of justice, but first-degree murder charges were anticipated to be filed, as well.

Meanwhile, the surviving daughter's ex-boyfriend has remained under arrest but not charged since early Tuesday as police try to link both men to the family tragedy. His attorney, Marc Wolfe, said Saturday he is unaware of any charges being filed against his client.

Nodarse, a 23-year-old Countryside man, made incriminating statements about his involvement in Tuesday's fatal shooting and helped lead them to key evidence. He did not fight extradition back from Florida, where police tracked him down one day after the killings.

Jeffrey Kramer, 50, his wife, Lori, 48, and their 20-year-old son, Michael, were shot multiple times Tuesday after being ambushed in their upscale Darien home. The couple's daughter, Angela, 25, made a frantic 3 a.m. 911 call while hiding in an upstairs closet. Her brother, Anthony, 29, and a 17-year-old girl described as Michael's girlfriend also narrowly escaped unharmed.

None reported seeing the gunman.

Authorities traveled at least three states; secured search warrants for homes, cars, bank, credit card and phone records; interviewed at least five dozen witnesses; brought in canine units; and analyzed GPS and cellular technology. As a forensic pathologist painstakingly autopsied the dead, evidence technicians scoured the crime scene and sheriff's lab scientists enlisted advanced technology to analyze potential evidence.

"We are going to move as swiftly as possible, but there are procedures in place to safeguard the rights of anyone who is a suspect or is accused and at the same time make sure the investigation is not hampered and can continue," DuPage State's Attorney Joseph Birkett said, dodging further media inquiries.

Indiana State Police recovered what sources said may be the murder weapon, as well as other items, from a garbage container early Thursday outside an International House of Pancakes restaurant near I-70 in Terre Haute, Fla.

Meanwhile, Angela Kramer's 28-year-old ex-boyfriend - with whom she has a 13-month-old son - has been held without charges since 8 a.m. Tuesday when he voluntarily went to the Darien police station, sources said.

The ex-boyfriend's attorney, Wolfe, met with Birkett Friday to discuss developments. Wolfe declined to comment, but other sources have said his client was gambling at Joliet's Empress riverboat at the time of the shootings - an alibi supported by video surveillance footage and credit cards receipts.

Authorities are investigating a link between Nodarse and Angela Kramer's ex-boyfriend. The two men are friends, sources said, and can be linked through real estate public records. Angela Kramer and her ex-boyfriend have been involved in a custody court case since January when she sought support for their 13-month-old son, records showed.

Prosecutors typically have a 72-hour window to hold someone without charges, but Birkett said exceptions are allowed when progress in the case is being made.

Criminal law experts such as Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Richard Kling and Leonard Cavise, a DePaul University College of Law professor, said the 72-hour police procedure is a rule-of-thumb, not an actual law.

"Since it's not a statute, it's open to interpretation, but that should not give cops license to just hold someone," Cavise said. "The name of the game often is to just wear the guy down until he talks."

He added: "If he can't leave, he's under arrest."