Worth Board officials again face angry crowd over girl’s death
By Steve Metsch firstname.lastname@example.org April 15, 2014 9:54PM
Updated: May 17, 2014 6:48AM
Things got heated Tuesday night at the Worth Village Board meeting, where the police investigation into the death of Brittany Wawrzyniak again was questioned by her family members and others in a crowd that spilled out of the board room into a hallway,
Mayor Werner read a statement in which she pleaded for the family and public to be patient with the police investigation that she said will take “eight to 10 months to complete.”
“At this time, I am confident in our investigation and the evidence that has been turned over to the (Cook County) state’s attorney to be used by prosecutors in two separate criminal cases. We cannot share this information at this time because these cases need to be tried in a court of law and not in the local papers or on Facebook,” Werner said.
But members of the Wawrzyniak family and their supporters were not mollified and sharply criticized Werner and police, as they did at a meeting April 1 and as they said they plan to do at every village board meeting from now on.
Authorities have said Wawrzyniak, 18, was killed Nov. 8 after falling out of car driven by Eric Johnson, 20, of Midlothian, onto the pavement in a parking lot, 7425 W. 115th St.
Wawrzyniak paid $200 to buy 30 pills of clonazepam, an anti-anxiety medication that goes by the street name of Klonopin, or K-pins, according to prosecutors.
Johnson is charged with selling a controlled substance in connection with Wawrzyniak’s death.
Lily Arboleda, 18, of the 6800 block of Kedvale Avenue, Chicago, is charged with conspiring to commit aggravated battery with Wawrzyniak regarding a fight with a third girl at the Worth boat launch.
On Tuesday night, Wawrzyniak’s parents, Rebecca Tully and Patrick Wawrzyniak, took turns ripping the village and police, questioning their ability to conduct a death investigation and questioning that their daughter was involved in obtaining prescription drugs illegally.
Tully quoted from what she called “the policeman’s oath,” saying Worth officers failed to act professionally on each level in their investigation of Brittany’s death.
The parents agreed that Wawrzyniak was on her way to a park where a fight was planned between two girls, but they insist she was on track to a bright future.
“This needs to be turned over to a department where the mayor and police have no prejudice against the family and, most importantly, my daughter the victim,” Tully told trustees.
Tully said her daughter was not an angel, but “a teenager, a human being like everybody else.”
Patrick Wawrzyniak said he remains unimpressed by the investigation, saying “there are still lots of unanswered questions.”
Contributing: Donna Vickroy