Slain Lyons Township Freshman Connected with Everyone, Grieving Classmates Say

Friends who knew Kelli O'Laughlin since kindergarten will miss her.

About a dozen freshmen tied white ribbons around trees in front of the school in Western Springs Friday afternoon.

"They're white, because white is pure, just like Kelli," said Abby, a friend of fellow freshman Kelli O'Laughlin, 14, who was murdered after getting home from school on Thursday.

The group of students are remembering Kelli by putting together scrapbooks of their times together, and a memorial Facebook page has been created

Most of the students had gone to school with Kelli since kindergarten and several were on the cross country team with her. Friday afternoon, they wore purple ribbons around their heads.

"Purple was her favorite color," said Lindsey, another LT freshman, who said she used to call Kelli "Peacock." "She was such a colorful person, and she always had different colors on."

Classmates said Kelli was unique in that she never got involved with any of the cliques that formed at her high school.

"She would hang out with everybody," said Megan. "You could really connect with her."

One classmate said Kelli used to leave little notes for her in her locker.

"That's what I'm going to miss the most. She used to wait for me every day while I got my books out of my locker in the morning," said Erika. "I'm going to miss that on Monday."

Police searching for person of interest in slaying

Indian Head Park police said at a press conference Friday afternoon that the 14-year-old was attacked and killed between 4:45 and 5:15 p.m. on Thursday. Police say it appears that she came home from school and walked in on a burglary in progress at her home on the 6300 block of Keokuk Road in Indian Head Park.

"I live down the street, and there's been a lot a burglaries in the area," said another of Kelli's classmates. "Kelli's home was right off the highway."

Earlier this month, police arrested two men believed to be responsible for One of the men said he found the homes by googling "expensive homes along highways."

. He is described as a black male with a dark complexion, 30-35 years old, between 5'8" and 5'9" and of medium build. He was seen in the Indian Head Park area wearing a dark hoodie and carrying a patterned backpack.

A vigil will be held at 7 p.m. tonight in Kelli's honor at .


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