Deep grief at North Aurora site of murder-suicide
By Matt Hanley firstname.lastname@example.org October 31, 2012 1:56PM
A murder-suicide occured at Eden Supportive Living at 311 S. Lincolnway in North Aurora on Monday. The ambulance shown in this photo was at the building for a different reason on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 1, 2012 3:30PM
The director of a North Aurora assisted living facility said residents and staff are dealing with tremendous grief after the murder-suicide deaths of two residents.
“It was a terribly unfortunate incident,” Brenda Lawrence, director of the Eden Supportive Living apartments said Wednesday. “Nothing like this has ever happened before. This has been very difficult for the residents and the staff. All our sympathies go out to the families.”
North Aurora police were called to the Eden Supportive Living center at 311 S. Lincolnway Monday night on a report of a 58-year-old man threatening to jump from a third-story window. Just as officers arrived, the man jumped out of the window. He was taken to Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora, then flown to Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where he was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon.
Inside the man’s apartment, police found the body of Tomi Vandiver, 50, who lived in the same building. Police said Vandiver had been stabbed to death, and are calling the incident a murder-suicide.
North Aurora police did not release the name of the 58-year-old man, but he was identified in a letter to Eden residents as Jon Neel.
“We will not have any further information today, nor will we be releasing the suspect’s name today,” North Aurora Deputy Chief Scott Buziecki said Wednesday. “Instead, we’re going to allow the investigation a little more time to bear out the facts as we believe them to be.”
Lawrence said Vandiver had started dating Neel about a month earlier.
Police said she had gone 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.
Lawrence said Vandiver had moved into the facility about four years ago.
“She was just a great girl,” Lawrence said. “She kept to herself and she had a lot of friends. Everybody loved her.”
Lawrence said Neel moved to Eden in June and was also well-liked.
“Everyone said he was a wonderful man,” she said. “He came in and made friends right away.”
Both Vandiver and Neel had undergone extensive background checks before they were accepted at Eden, Lawrence said. Neither had any history of violence, Lawrence said. Neither Neel nor Vandiver appear to have any local criminal history.
Eden has counselors available at the facility and is planning to have a memorial service at some point.
The Eden Supportive Living Center has about 150 residents between 22- and 64-years-old, all of whom have disabilities. The center is geared toward people who do not need extensive levels of care and can live in their own apartment. Most of the residents can administer their own medication and take care of their basic needs.
This 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.