Person of interest in McHenry County death crashes car into Mundelein house

A single mother, more recently a grandmother, was murdered in her own home. The coroner called her death suspicious, traumatic and unnatural.

Police in far northwest suburban Island Lake are now piecing together the gruesome discovery, and trying to learn more about a person of interest in the case who has since been apprehended.

For nine years, Celeste Carver lived next door to 48-year-old Karen Scavelli. They were good friends and hearing her pal was killed in her own home has shocked Carver and the rest of the neighborhood.

“When we heard about it, you’re kind of in shock. And as a mom of five, you know, I’m a mom of five, I’m a grandma, and I’m still having a hard time processing it,” Carver said.

On Tuesday night, police stood guard in the 700 block of Dartmouth Avenue in Island Lake. Scavelli’s home there is surrounded in yellow crime tape. Her daughter, Nicole, who lived there with her mother was at a loss for words but told WGN her mother would do anything for others–always going the extra mile.

On Monday night, the woman’s body was discovered inside her house  On Tuesday morning, 30 minutes away, a red Pontiac crashed into a Mundelein house.

The car belonged to Scavelli. The driver, police say, is a person of interest in her death.

“The subject was in possession of a knife and a hammer, which he had utilized to inflict several wounds to himself,” said Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther. “Officers were able to subdue the subject using a taser device, and taking him into custody.”

Guenther says at 8:30 a.m., a suspicious man was seen at a local restaurant, The Gale Street, in Mundelein. He reportedly stole an employee’s purse then took off in his car. When police caught up with him he gave chase before driving straight into a home three blocks away.

They took him to the hospital.

Now, investigators are piecing the puzzle together as family and neighbors try to figure who killed Karen Scavellli and why.

“All the behavior, all together, doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Guenther said.

“My heart goes out to the family. This is sad. Our neighborhood shouldn’t ahve to go through this trauma,” Carver said.

There are no details on the person of interest.

Neighbors say they’ve seen him around in recent months, but aren’t sure why.

No charges have been filed.

Police are still trying to talk to him as he continues to receive treatment at a hospital in Libertyville.

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