Family Was Bound Before Stabbing, Officials Say

Hoffman Estates police five people stabbed

By BJ Lutz, Associated Press and STNG Wire
|  Sunday, Apr 19, 2009  |  Updated 7:27 AM CDT
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A father, his daughter and a grandmother are slain in a stabbing at their home in a quiet northwest suburban neighborhood.

A father, his daughter and a grandmother are slain in a stabbing at their home in a quiet northwest suburban neighborhood.

A suburban Chicago man used yarn to tie up his girlfriend and members of her family before fatally stabbing her sister, father and grandmother with a butcher knife, prosecutors said Saturday.

Bond was denied for 20-year-old D’Andre Howard, charged with the triple homicide that left a teen, her father and grandmother fatally stabbed at their home in a quiet northwest suburban neighborhood Friday morning.

Officials said Howard quarreled with his girlfriend, 23-year-old Amanda Engelhardt, then followed her from an apartment where they
were raising their 8-month-old child.  Prosecutors said Howard confronted his girlfriend at her family's home, then tied her up, along with her mother and 18-year-old sister. Howard used a knife to stab the mother in the heart and a lung, then used it to kill the grandmother and father when they tried to help, prosecutors said. The sister was also killed.

Howard, of the 900 block of Evanston St. in Hoffman Estates, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count each of attempted murder and unlawful restraint, according to Hoffman Estates police Lt. Rich Russo.

Officials said Howard has a criminal record.  Prosecutors said they may seek the death penalty in this case.  Howard's lawyer says his client has mental problems.

Hoffman Estates police said they received a call from a "distraught female" about 6:44 a.m. Friday, claiming someone had been stabbed inside a residence in the 1000 block of North Bluebonnet Lane, Russo said.

When officers arrived, they found five people stabbed -- including two who were dead on the scene -- after an apparent fight, Russo said.

Alan Engelhardt, 57, was dead on the scene, and 18-year-old Laura Engelhardt died later at an unidentified hospital, according to Russo. Marlene Gacek, 73, who also lived in the home, was also dead on the scene, according to the lieutenant.

Authorities said Alan Engelhardt was Laura’s father, and Gacek was her grandmother. Howard was one of the two people found injured.

The other victim -- who was Laura Eberhardt's mother -- remained hospitalized at St. Alexius Medical Cenrer in Hoffman Estates as of 5:45 p.m. Friday, Russo said. Her condition was not known.

The weapon was either a knife or sharp tool, according to Russo, who said it was not known whether weapons were recovered. He declined to say where in the ranch-style home the victims were discovered, and said there were others inside who were not stabbed.

No signs of forced entry were found, he said.

"We have no idea what premeditated this or if it was premeditated," Russo said. He declined to say how long the victims had been dead, but said the incident occurred early Friday.

Howard is expected to appear in bond court during the 9 a.m. call Saturday at the Rolling Meadows Courthouse.

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