Brenda O’Laughlin testified on the witness stand about the cruel texts and phone calls she received from her daughter’s cellphone the day after the teen was killed by an alleged burglar. John Wilson Jr. is the lead suspect in the suburban Chicago crime.
Just one day after her 14-year-old daughter’s brutal murder, the dead teen’s face popped up on an Illinois mom’s phone.
It was a call from her beloved child’s stolen cell, one of several phone calls and taunting texts that Brenda O’Laughlin testified she received after coming home in Oct. 2011 to find her daughter Kelli lying in a pool of blood.
After Brenda took to the witness stand on Wednesday at the trial for John Wilson Jr., the lead suspect, ABC Chicago reported on how she answered that first call from Kelli’s killer.
“Hello?” the Indian Head Park mother said, only to be met by dead silence.
A few minutes later, the answer came via text.
"Hello Brenda," the killer reportedly texted.
"Love your pic," the suspect continued, referring to images on Kelli’s phone.
John Wilson Jr. has been linked to the crime.
"She wanted me to tell you something before I killed her."
"Think I'm in love with you Bren."
Her husband, John O’Laughlin, alerted investigators and Brenda attempted to ignore the texts. But they kept coming.
"You got 2 min to text me before I break this phone,” the suspect texted.
Brenda responded, "Who are you and what do you want?"
And she got the chilling answer, “You will know soon when I come see you.”
A few days later, cops tracked the phone calls back to Wilson. Prosecutors say that cell phone records prove that Wilson and Kelli’s phones were traveling around the city together, indicating that they were with the same person.
Investigators also linked Wilson’s DNA to a red knit cap that was left at the crime scene. Inside the cap, cops found a large rock, which is reportedly what Wilson used to break through the dining room window and enter the O’Laughlin’s house.
Prosecutors believe Wilson was burglarizing Kelli’s home on that fateful day as the freshman returned home from Lyons Township High School, La Grangereports. He had grabbed a knife from a knife block in the kitchen and had reportedly been rummaging through the family’s bedrooms when he heard someone enter the house.
Assistant State Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said that Wilson confronted Kelli in the family room and stabbed her in the neck, chest, and several other spots. Wilson then allegedly dragged the girl “partially into the kitchen, so no one will see her,” Lisuzzo claimed.
He left the house with coins and Kelli’s cellphone, the lawyer said.
When Brenda returned home, she noticed a dark liquid pooled on the floor. At first, she thought one of the family’s dogs had an accident.
She then stepped over a dog gate and into the kitchen, where she saw Kelli lying on her stomach, her body still warm.
A backpack, notebook, and papers littered the floor.
Brenda couldn’t flip her daughter over to perform CPR, so she talked to her instead.
“I was trying to comfort her,” Brenda said in court.
She called 911 and reported that her daughter had committed suicide. The mom told the court she didn’t think anyone had broken in.
Crime scene investigators later discovered the broken windows.
“He could have just run out of the home. He doesn't,” prosecutor Lisuzzo said about Wilson, the Chicago Tribune reports.
“It would end with a knife being plunged into her body many times. It would end with her lying in a pool of blood in her home.”
But Wilson’s defense lawyer Michelle Gonzalez maintains that her client is innocent. She faulted police for not following through on other potential suspects, such as landscapers who were working at the O’Laughlin house on that day. Gonzalez is trying to prove that Kelli committed suicide.
"It wasn't him," defense attorney said about