Saturday, November 3, 2012

Geneva, IL: Residents Grieve For 2 Dead in Murder-Suicide

The residents and staff members of a Route 31 apartment complex struggled to come to terms with the death of two residents after a murder-suicide there this week.
Most of the Eden Supportive Living's 150-member community spoke with a counselor individually or in a group setting, said Barbara Lawrence, director of the apartment complex, on Wednesday.
"We’re hanging in there," Lawrence said. "It’s a horrible tragedy, it’s affected everyone in the building."
Police were called to the complex, 311 S. Lincolnway, Route 31 in North Aurora, on Monday night for a report of a suicidal resident. The resident, a 58-year-old man, jumped from his third-floor window. Inside his apartment police found Tomi Vandiver, 50, another resident of the complex. She had been stabbed and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The man was transported to one hospital and then another before he died late Tuesday afternoon.
A letter was sent to residents that spoke about Vandiver's death and names the 58-year-old man involved, Lawrence said. Police have not released the man's name yet.  (UPDATE Jon Neel)
"We're going to allow the investigation a little more time to bear out the facts as we believe them to be before we attach this man's name," said Scott Buziecki, North Aurora deputy police chief, in a message to reporters.
"She Was Very Friendly, Very Sweet"
Lawrence describes Vandiver and the man as well-liked in the building. Vandiver moved to the Eden community in September 2008.
"She was very friendly, very sweet," Lawrence said. "Tomi liked to stay to herself and a group of friends that she had here."
Vandiver would also go out with her family. The man had a family of his own—he was very close with his two daughters, Lawrence said.
The man moved into the complex in June or July. Lawrence said a background check on the man didn't turn up any warning signs when he applied to move there.
"There was no history, no indicators at all, nothing, no," Lawrence said. "We do a very extensive screening of our residents and staff."
Lawrence said Vandiver and the man might have been dating for about a month.
Dealing With Loss
Those on hand to counsel residents included someone from AID (Association of Individual Development) Victims Services.
Victims Services provides 24-hour assistance to victims and survivors of violent crime or trauma to respond to their psychological, emotional and physical needs, according to its parent group website.
"We’re doing everything we can to make sure everyone’s getting the support that they need," Lawrence said.
A memorial service will be organized that the building's residents can attend at a nearby church, possibly sometime next week, Lawrence said.
Several pastors at area churches offered to come in and visit with the grieving residents and staff.
"We appreciate the community’s support," Lawrence said. "The whole community has been wonderful."
The Eden community will also remember the two at a pond behind its complex. The residents paint rocks and place them at the pond to remember those that have passed away.

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