Wheaton volleyball star believed killed in apparent robbery attempt
BY DAN ROZEK Staff Reporteremail@example.com August 20, 2012 8:28PM
Megan Boken Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: September 22, 2012 6:38AM
Driving to an alumni volleyball game in St. Louis, Wheaton native Megan Boken was chatting on her cell phone with her mother when the call abruptly ended.
It would turn out to be the last time Lisa Boken spoke to her daughter.
The young woman was found Saturday, shot in the chest and neck at about 2:20 p.m. as she sat in her Volkswagen, St. Louis police said.
Police said Monday that they believe Megan Boken was killed in an apparent robbery attempt.
In a press conference Monday, Police Chief Dan Isom acknowledged investigators had little information and were asking for public help in trying to find her killer.
A $10,000 reward was being offered for information about her slaying, which occurred in a bustling, upscale restaurant and nightlife district known as the Central West End.
The first sign of concern came Saturday when the telephone conversation ended suddenly.
Lisa Boken tried unsuccessfully several times to reach her 23-year-old daughter, then became concerned and started calling several of Megan’s former St. Louis University teammates who were expected to play in the game.
“She tried to call her back and couldn’t reach her, so she reached out to some of her teammates and their parents,” Boken’s former college coach, Anne Kordes, said Monday.
Their concern only rose when Boken, a star player at the school until her 2011 graduation from the school, failed to arrive for the 4 p.m. Saturday game.
That prompted some of her friends and their parents to leave the arena to begin looking for her and ultimately for someone to call police, said Kordes.
They were shattered when they learned the popular young woman who was considering returning to the St. Louis area to live had been shot to death barely two miles from the campus.
Police were questioning witnesses and checking surveillance cameras in the area to see if any captured images of the shooting.
But police spokesman Dave Marzullo acknowledged many details of the killing remained unclear, including whether the gunman entered Boken’s car before opening fire or just opened a car door and shot her.
“There are conflicting statements,” Marzullo said, as police also retracted an earlier, unofficial statement that Boken might have known her attacker.
Boken, who had worked as a financial advisor for Edward Jones in Wheaton until earlier this summer, was killed shortly after joining a friend to walk her dog in Forest Park.
“It was a random attack by a bad person who didn’t know Megan. It’s madness,” her friend, Sarah Entzeroth, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Boken had been hoping to find a new job in the St. Louis area, Entzeroth told the paper.
Kordes said she is stunned Boken was gunned down in the middle of the day in a popular area of the city in a seemingly random attack.
“That’s the shocking part,” said Kordes, who described her former player as “very friendly, very social, very confident.”
When friends, former teammates and their parents learned Saturday that Megan had died, they wept and clung to each other to try to cope with their grief, said Kordes.
“Everyone from the community who knew her and loved her was there to support each other,” said Kordes, who now coaches women’s volleyball at the University of Louisville.
In a statement, Boken’s family described her as a “wonderful and beautiful human being loved by everyone she met.”
“The family and the community are devastated by this senseless tragedy,” the statement said.
A relative in Wheaton declined to comment Monday.
Boken graduated in 2007 from St. Francis High School in Wheaton and starred on the school’s 2006 squad, which won the Class AA state title.
She graduated from St. Louis University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Boken’s visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday at St. Francis High School.
Her funeral mass will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Michael Catholic Church in Wheaton.
Contributing: Associated Press