Police: Woodridge man stabs daughter to death, kills himself

A 34-year-old Woodridge man fatally stabbed his 3-year-old daughter Friday and took his own life, police said Saturday.

The man, Robert Bzdek, hanged himself in a bedroom of the house in the 2700 block of Meadowdale Lane after stabbing the girl and was discovered by his teen stepson who called police, according to a family member.

“I watched as they carried out my limp sister out the door,” said Emanuel Szyszka in an email.

Woodridge police released Saturday no details about what led to the killing, but called it a murder-suicide. Police discovered the two after being called to the home about 4:30 p.m.

Robert Bzdek was pronounced dead at the scene, and the girl, Zuzanna Bzdek, was transported to Edward Hospital and Health Services in Naperville, where she later died in surgery, according to police.

The DuPage County Coroner’s office said autopsies were performed Saturday afternoon but wouldn’t release the results.

In an email to the Tribune, Emanuel Szyszka, 17, said he came to the home at 4 p.m. Friday and noticed bloody foot steps leading from a master bedroom. When he knocked on the door, Bzdek told him he cut his feet on glass.

Feeling something wasn’t right and unable to see inside the room, Szyszka said he tried to force the door open and shouted for Bzdek but it fell “on deaf ears.” It turned out the door had been secured with a two-by-four and power tools, Szyszka said.

“After calling the cops, I learned that he had committed suicide by hanging himself in the room,” Szyszka said in the email. “…Not until much later did I learn he had stabbed (my) precious Zuzia in the chest before he hung himself.”

As family mourned, the news of the deaths shocked neighbors in the quiet suburban neighborhood, where families walked dogs and played in a nearby park Saturday afternoon. Neighbors said they often saw Robert Bzdek outside working on his home and that he was friendly.

On Saturday, the well-kept home was surrounded with yellow police tape and guarded by a police officer. A child’s toy lawnmower sat near the front door.

Eva Paprocki, 36, who lives a few houses down from the home, said three-year-old Zuzanna Bzdek sometimes played dress-up and other games with her little girl since the two were close in age.

“He was nice,” said Paprocki of the father. “He loved her very much. He gave her everything always … He can’t say no sometimes.”

Paprocki said she was at the hospital Friday with Zuzanna’s mother, who she said was in shock.

“She cannot believe it,” Paprocki said. “She thinks she’s going to wake up and everything’s going to be fine.”

Paprocki said she could not say what may have led to Friday’s tragedy. “It’s just shocking. I don’t know what to say,” she said.

Mary Hately, 50, who said she’s lived in the neighborhood for more than two decades, said it’s the type of neighborhood where residents shovel each other’s driveways. Ray Davis, another neighbor, said Robert Bzdek was industrious and hard-working.

Hately and others also talked about whether to start collecting clothes and food for the surviving family.

Paprocki, meanwhile, wondered what she would tell her own young daughter about her former playmate.

“She’s going to ask,” Paprocki said. “What are you going to tell? Three years old.”

The family is raising money for a funeral through an online fundraising tool at
http://www.gofundme.com/8378h4.

 

Copyright © 2014 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

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