Vernon Hills Murder Suspects Apprehended - NBC Chicago

Vernon Hills Murder Suspects Apprehended

Caught speeding and driving under the influence in Montana



    Daniel R. Baker and Kristina Aksman are taken into custody after a high-speed chase. (Published Thursday, April 8, 2010)

    Two suspects in the bizarre murder of a Vernon Hills woman have been apprehended after a high speed chase in Montana, police say.

    Daniel R. Baker and Kristina Aksman, suspected of murdering Marina Aksman, 50, in her home last week, were taken into custody Monday after a Sheriff’s Deputy observed their car speeding on Route 2.

    The duo were traveling at 84 MPH in a 70 MPH zone.

    When the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle a pursuit ensued. The vehicle was eventually stopped and the occupants, Baker, who was driving, and Aksman, were taken into custody.

    Baker had apparently been drinking. The Sheriff’s Office has charged Daniel R. Baker with: speeding, resisting arrest, a stop sign violation, fleeing and eluding a police officer, driving under the influence and criminal endangerment.

    Investigators from the Vernon Hills Police Department and the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force are presently in Montana continuing the investigation, say police. Based upon the evidence developed during the course of the investigation the Lake County State's Attorney’s Office has charged Baker with three counts of 1st degree Murder.

    Baker is currently being held in Montana pending resolution of local charges and extradition to Illinois.

    Aksman is classified as a material witness and remains in protective custody in Montana.

    Marina Aksman, 50, was found dead early Thursday morning on a bed at her home in the 1800 block of Olympic Drive, said Lake County Coroner Dr. Richard Keller.  It appears she was beaten to death, and police said they believe to have recovered the murder weapon. 

    Police were called to the home in the early morning hours after a car crashed into it. The car is registered to Baker's mother, Diane.

    A rear glass door had been smashed, apparently allowing access to the inside of the house, Vernon Hills Police Sgt Pat Zimmerman said.

    A neighbor said he heard a noise around 3:30 a.m. but didn’t think much of it and by 7 a.m. there were lots of flashing lights and police in the neighborhood.

    "(Police) are all around us," said neighbor Glenn Hartman.  "We guessed by the amount of activity that somebody must have died."

    Aksman's husband, a delivery truck driver, was not at home at the time and is cooperating with police, Zimmerman said, according to the Chicago Tribune.

    Baker and Kristina Aksman were last seen at about 11 p.m. Wednesday in Baker's Deerfield home.