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North Aurora victim’s family: Nothing could prepare us for tragic death

Updated: December 3, 2012 6:44AM

The family of a woman who was killed at a North Aurora assisted living facility is remembering her as a loving mother, daughter and friend.

Tomi Vandiver, 50, was found dead in an apartment at the Eden Supportive Living center at 311 S. Lincolnway Monday night. Police said she was the victim in a murder suicide, and the 58-year-old suspect in her slaying died after jumping out a third-story window at the center.

Vandiver’s body was found inside the man’s apartment. Police said she had been stabbed to death. While North Aurora police have not released the name of the man, Eden Supportive Living identified him as Jon Neel in a letter sent to Eden residents.

In a note to The Beacon-News, Vandiver’s ex-husband said she was in declining health due to brain disease.

“But nothing could possibly prepare the family for the type of tragic death she suffered on Monday,” Kraig Vandiver said. “We ask that you keep the entire family, especially her daughter and son in your thoughts and prayers. ... Thank you all for your condolences and support during the most difficult time in our lives.”

Representatives from Eden said Vandiver had moved into the facility about four years ago. Vandiver had started dating Neel about a month ago, and police said she went to Neel’s apartment on Monday evening to collect some belongings before going to meet with another man who lived in the building. She never showed up to meet the other man, police said.

“She was just a great girl,” said Brenda Lawrence, director of the Eden Supportive Living apartments. “She kept to herself and she had a lot of friends. Everybody loved her.”

The case remains under investigation by North Aurora police. Anyone with information is asked to call 630-897-8705, ext. 610. Anonymous tips may be left by calling 630-897-8705 and choosing option 3.

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