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Body found near Edens Expressway in Wilmette

Police are in the middle of a death investigation in north suburban Wilmette.

A body was found south of Old Glenview Roadt next to the Edens Expressway, under some bushes along Frontage Road.

It was discovered by a Niles North High School student who was out walking her dog.  The dog alerted her to the body in the bushes.  The girl’s mother called police.

 

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Murder charges were filed against two teens and a 20-year-old in the death of Colin Nutter, 20, of Highland Park, whose body was found early this week along the Edens Expressway.

Benjamin Schenk, 20, Philip Vatamaniuc, 17, and Michael Coffee, 17, all of whom are also from Highland Park, have each been charged with first-degree murder.

Police found Nutter’s body near the Edens Expressway in Wilmette the night of June 3. He had been shot in the head.

Earlier that day, police say the three suspects met with Nutter to purchase marijuana from him. Police say Nutter picked them up in his Dodge Stratus. Two of the suspects — Coffee and Vatamaniuc — gave statements saying Schenk, who was sitting behind the driver’s seat, shot Nutter in the head.

“We also have a witness who indicated the day before the murder, defendant Schenk talked about how he was going to rob and murder someone the following day,” said Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim said at a news conference Friday.

WilmetteSuspects

From left: Benjamin Schenk, 20; Philip Vatamaniuc, 17; and Michael Coffee, 17.

Nerheim went on to say that after Nutter was shot in the head, the suspects put his body in the trunk of the Dodge, and drove to the location on the Edens in Wilmette where they dumped the body. Then, police said they drove the Dodge and another car –  a Ford Focus they had stolen from Nutter’s family — to the West Side of Chicago.

“On the Dodge that was located in Chicago, police located blood in the trunk, and blood in the seat belt area of the driver’s side of the victim’s car,” Nerheim said.

Police say the suspects then drove the Ford Focus back to a home in Highwood, which was a rental unit where they had been staying. Investigators say the murder happened in Highwood, then the suspects scrambled to try and get rid of the evidence.

“Why they drove to that specific area, why they then drove the car to another area, we don’t know. Some things are just unexplained,” said Chief George Filenko, Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, at Friday’s news conference.

Also unexplained is why Nutter was murdered.

“As to motive, we still don’t have an exact theory, so I don’t want to speculate at this point,” Filenko said.

Philip Vatamaniuc’s father Daniel says that his son is a good kid who was caught up with the wrong people.

“I don’t think [he's guilty of these charges],” said Vatamaniuc. “Wrong place and wrong time, if you’re in the car and somebody does something stupid, it’s not your fault. I don’t think he’s guilty because he was there.”

Lake County judge set bond for each suspect at $5 million Friday morning.

Two 17-year-olds and a 20-year-old are charged with murdering 20 year-old Colin Nutter, of Highland Park. They appeared in court Friday morning on first-degree murder charges at the Lake County Courthouse.

Nutter’s body was found in some brush along the Edens Expressway in Wilmette at 8:30 p.m. Monday. He died from a single gunshot wound to the back of his head. A girl who was walking her dog discovered the body.

The Chicago Tribune identifies those charged as Benjamin Schenk, 20, of the 200 block of Western Avenue, Highwood; Philip Vatamaniuc, 17, of the 2900 block of Warbler Place, Highland Park; and Michael Coffee, 17, of the 2700 block of St. Johns Ave., Highland Park.

At a news conference Friday, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim described the chain of events that he believes lead to the death of 20-year-old Colin Nutter of Highland Park.

Lake County Major Crimes Taskforce Commander George Filenko also spoke at the news conference. He provided some more details about the murder of Colin Nutter, but said he was selective about what information he could share because more arrests in the case are possible.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

Lake County Major Crimes Taskforce Commander George Filenko provided some more details about the murder of Colin Nutter, but said he was selective about what information he could share because more arrests in the case are possible.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim described the chain of events that he believes lead to the death of 20-year-old Colin Nutter of Highland Park.

Wilmette police have solved one mystery surrounding the murder of a 20-year-old man.

Authorities have found Colin Nutter’s car.

They asked for the public’s help to track down the 2004 Dodge Stratus and did so yesterday afternoon.

No word on where they picked it up or what they learned from it.

Nutter was found shot to death Monday morning on Frontage Road.. just east of the Edens Expressway.

The man found dead in Wilmette this week was murdered and robbed.

An autopsy found that 20-year-old Colin Nutter was shot in the back of the head.

His body was found near the Edens Expressway Monday night.

His sister tells the Chicago Tribune that their parents’ home in Highland Park was burglarized that same night.

Nutter’s car and his parents’ car were both stolen.

Here’s a description of Nutter’s car.

It’s a 2004 navy blue Dodge Stratus with Illinois license plate number: R 696-833

A gunshot wound to the head killed a 20-year-old whose body was found near the Edens Expressway in Wilmette, the Cook County Medical Examiner said Wednesday.

Man found dead near EdensThe body of Colin Nutter of Highland Park was discovered under some bushes along Frontage Road by a woman who was walking her dog.

Nutter’s home was burglarized a month ago, but police have not linked that to his death.

They are asking the public for help in finding the car Nutter was driving the night of the shooting.

It’s a 2002 navy blue Dodge Stratus.

The Chicago Tribune contributed to this report.

The death of a man found in Wilmette is being investigated as a homicide.

20-year-old Colin Nutter’s body was found in the brush along the frontage road of the Edens Expressway in Wilmette, Monday night.

Police say Nutter’s body showed obvious signs of trauma, but investigators have not said what happened to him.  They  identified him through fingerprints

In the Nutter family’s neighborhood, 10 miles north in Highland Park, police cordoned off their home and blocked traffic, while investigating inside.

“It’s horrifying, absolutely horrifying. This kind of stuff never happens here,” said neighbor Sarah Weissman.

Man found dead near EdensThose who know the family say they had little contact with Colin.

“I knew Colin when he was younger.  He used to ride the bus with my children to elementary school,” said Weissman.  “I feel terrible for the family. No one needs to lose their life in that way.  It’s just horrible. “

The Nutter’s home was burglarized a month ago. Police are not commenting about any possible connection between the break in and this homicide

Wilmette police have identified an apparent homicide victim whose body was near the Edens Expressway Monday night.

The body was identified through finger prints as Colin Nutter, 20, of Highland Park, and an autopsy is expected Wednesday.

The victim’s body was discovered found just after 8 p.m. by a Niles North High School student who was out walking her dog.  The dog alerted her to the body in the bushes.  The girl’s mother called police and they’ve been on the scene ever since.

Area residents say Frontage Road is a commonly used shortcut to the Edens, but there is no street lighting or sidewalk along the section of roadway where the body was found.

Wilmette police say they are being assisted in this homicide investigation by the North Regional Major Crimes Task Force, and that anyone with information is encouraged to call police.

Authorities are trying to identify a body found near the Edens Expressway in Wilmette.

The Medical Examiner says it is the body of a male teenager but his identity and cause of death are still unknown.

The body was found just after 8:00 last night, south of Old Glenview Roadt next to the Edens Expressway, under some bushes along Frontage Road.

It was discovered by a Niles North High School student who was out walking her dog.  The dog alerted her to the body in the bushes.  The girl’s mother called police.

Police have been on the scene since.  They are not saying if there are any signs of foul play.

Investigators are still wrapping up their work, and police have yet to return phone calls or provide more information about the case.

Area residents say Frontage Road is a commonly used shortcut to the Edens, but there is no street lighting or sidewalk along the section of roadway where the body was found.

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