Ex-Oak Forest official’s death ruled a suicide
BY STEVE METSCH email@example.com July 25, 2012 3:42PM
Updated: August 27, 2012 11:12AM
A former Oak Forest official who was due in court Monday for a hearing on an aggravated sexual abuse charge committed suicide in his Oak Forest home, officials said.
David Baitman, a former Oak Forest hearing officer and retired Cook County assistant public defender, was found dead in his home in the 14800 block of Landings Lane late Tuesday, Oak Forest police said.
The cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning, and his death was ruled a suicide, the Cook County medical examiner’s office said Wednesday.
Mr. Baitman’s body was found in an attic over the garage about 11 p.m., Oak Forest Police Lt. Mark Jensen said. Police “found that all the burners on the stove had been turned on,” Jensen said.
Mr. Baitman was awaiting trial on an aggravated sexual abuse charge after an incident in which he allegedly handcuffed and sexually assaulted a woman at the home, police said. He was arrested last year.
Mr. Baitman was free on bond, and was required to wear an ankle monitor, Jensen said Wednesday.
Police received a call from a member of Baitman’s family at 10:23 p.m. Tuesday after the family member and representatives of the county’s prisoner monitoring system went to the house. The family member had talked with Baitman earlier Tuesday, had not heard from him, and was concerned about his well-being, Jensen said.
“When they opened the door, they saw a lot of damage inside and smelled a strong odor of natural gas,” Jensen said.
They did not enter the house, instead calling 911, and Oak Forest firefighters and police responded to the scene, Jensen said.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire