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Elgin police resources were stretched during murder & rape investigations

Phillip J. Dillon

Phillip J. Dillon

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Updated: April 21, 2013 6:34AM

ELGIN — As police searched for the person who brutally stabbed to death Lisa Koziol-Ellis in her Elgin home on March 2, they also investigated two reports of a man who burglarized and sexually assaulted, or threatened to assault, women he knew inside their apartments.

Police have arrested Phillip J. Dillon, 45, homeless of Elgin, in those two cases. Now charged with sexual assault and residential burglary, Dillon was known to both of his victims, police said.

Police never suspected the rape/burglary cases were related to the Koziol-Ellis murder, said police Cmdr. Glenn Theriault.

However, with officers investigating the murder, another reported rape last week that ended up being a false report, and these two incidents, “It did tax our resources” as a department, Theriault said.

According to the victims, one was raped at about 11 p.m. March 3 at her home on the 100 block of South State Street (Route 31). Dillon is accused of taking a DVD player from her home after the assault, police said. They were able to track the DVD player to a resale shop and were able to identify Dillon as the seller, Theriault said.

Dillon has been charged with a Class X count of aggravated criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony count of residential burglary, a Class 4 count of unlawful restraint, and a misdemeanor count of theft in that case.

Police said a second woman was threatened with rape about 7:25 p.m. March 17 at her home on the 1600 block of Mark Avenue but managed to escape. Dillon is accused of hitting the woman in the face and exposing himself before she was able to get away. He then took a 32-inch TV from her home. He later was found in a nearby apartment building, and the TV was found nearby, according to police.

Dillon was charged with Class 1 counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault and residential burglary in that incident.

Bail was set at $400,000 Tuesday — $200,000 for each case. His next court date is set for March 28.

Police had been looking at all potential crime patterns in the community — rapes, burglaries, assaults — for patterns that would tie into the Koziol-Ellis murder, Theriault said.

The 33-year-old artist was found stabbed to death in her home on the first block of Garden Crescent Court at 2:30 a.m. by her husband, Dash Ellis, when he returned home from work. The couple had moved in just days before.

Paul A. Johnson, 34, who lived just three doors down from the couple, was charged late Sunday night with Koziol-Ellis’ murder. According to police, he admitted to another person that he had broken in to burglarize the home and was confronted by Koziol-Ellis.

Officers found themselves looking for another rape suspect on March 13, which ended up being a false report. Katrina Sedlock, 18, also of the first block of Garden Crescent Court, told police she was pulled into a secluded area and sexually assaulted near her home — the same area where the Koziol-Ellis murder occurred.

Police later determined that Sedlock had made up the story to cover the fact that earlier in they day, she had lost a dog she was supposed to be watching.

The separate investigations did mean the department’s investigators were stretched, Theriault said.

“We have been working on the homicide for a long time, but the case is not over when we make an arrest,” Theriault said. “These are lengthy investigations, but we have a really talented, deep bench and are able to get the job done” by assigning other investigators on the cases.

“We did not believe they were related cases … but we did have enough resources to dedicate to this,” he said. “We were able to manage this well because we are a big agency.”

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