Two kids found stabbed to death in Naperville, babysitter charged
Marta Dworakowski couldn't get inside her locked Naperville townhouse when she returned from work, even though babysitter Elzbieta Plackowska was supposed to be there caring for her 5-year-old daughter.
Dworakowski drove to her sitter's home in another part of the western suburb but became alarmed and called police when she couldn't find her daughter, Olivia, or Plackowska, law enforcement sources said.
Naperville police made a horrifying discovery minutes later when they forced their way into Dworakowski's townhouse, finding the bodies of Olivia Dworakowski and Plackowska's 7-year-old son in a bedroom.
Both had been stabbed dozens of times as they slept, law enforcement sources said Wednesday as DuPage County authorities announced that the 40-year-old Plackowska had been charged with both murders.
She remains jailed awaiting a Thursday bond hearing, DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin said, declining to disclose other details.
Other sources, though, said Olivia's body was found on the floor, the boy's body was nearby on a bed. Two dogs also were discovered stabbed to death inside the house.
Plackowska had been behaving erratically following the death of her father just days earlier, sources said.
She had been arguing with her husband about wanting to return to her native Poland, sources said.
The woman also claimed she feared demons were threatening the two young children, sources said, adding she took both youngsters to a Naperville church shortly before the killings.
She also returned to the church later that night after the children had been slain, the sources said.
Plackowska still covered in blood was taken into custody at a Naperville home on Violet Circle early Wednesday after a relative there contacted police, the sources said. A resident, though, said she apparently was grabbed by police when she went to see a friend who lives on the street.
DuPage County and Naperville authorities earlier said in a statement, There is no reason to believe any additional suspects are at large.
Marta Dworakowski declined to comment when reached by phone Wednesday, but another relative said the family was devastated by the death of the little girl, who attended Brookdale Elementary School.
This is terrible, the relative said.
Residents in the Brookdale subdivision were staggered when they learned the two children had been brutally slain in their quiet, safe neighborhood.
It's just incredibly horrible, said neighbor Melinda Mattas, who recalls chatting with Marta Dworakowski while both walked their dogs in the wide yards between the rows of townhouses.
Everybody talks to everybody here, Mattas added. Everyone with a dog is always out.
Dworakowski, a nurse, and her daughter had moved into the neighborhood only a few months ago, just before school started, several neighbors said.
Mattas said the last time she saw Olivia, the little girl was excited because she was wearing a party outfit.
It is disturbing, neighbor Thomas Brinson said of the killings. This is a quiet community. It's crazy.
Administrators at the schools attended by the two victims communicated with students families Wednesday morning, notifying them of the incident and assuring the families that staff members were in place to help students process the tragedy.
In a statement Wednesday afternoon, District 203 Supt. Dan Bridges said, The loss of a child at any time is a tragic, upsetting event not only for a school and the district, but for the entire community. Upon learning of the death of our student, a district crisis team was assembled and sent to Scott School to provide support for their staff, for their students, for their community.
Plackowska's 7-year-old son attended Scott School.
Counselors also were in place at Brookdale School, which Olivia attended.
Any time there's a loss of a student, it impacts everyone in a very deep and profound way, said district spokeswoman Susan Rice, adding that the traditional costumed Halloween parade through the halls at Scott, where the boy was a student, went on as usual. It's important that we remember that they're children.
This isn't the first time local school kids have found out a peer fell prey to violence. The community was left reeling in March 1999, after Marilyn Lemak drugged and suffocated her three children in their home on Loomis Street, in Naperville's east side historic district. Anybody that's familiar with Naperville understands that this community has been touched in this way before,Rice said.