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Body found in woods is missing Cal City woman

GenChiodo. |  File~Sun-Times Media

Gena Chiodo. | File~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 3, 2012 5:26PM



An autopsy Monday determined a body found by hunters in the woods Sunday is that of a missing Calumet City woman whose boyfriend has been charged with her murder.

The body of Gena Chiodo was found wrapped in a sheet or comforter in a wooded area just east of U.S. Route 41 and south of Indiana Route 2 in Lowell, according to Calumet City police Assistant Chief Dante Zorzi. An autopsy by the Lake County (Ind.) Coroner’s officer found external and internal traumatic injuries from an assault -- including multiple stab wounds and blunt force injuries. The death was ruled a homicide.

Chiodo, 42, was last heard from Oct. 13.

Patty Nasella, a longtime family friend, has said she believed Chiodo’s relationship with her boyfriend of 13 months, Donal Clark, was dysfunctional. Clark has been charged with her murder.

Debbie Wood has been among the group of friends who’ve been searching for Chiodo’s body since her disappearance. She said they’d looked out around Lakes of the Four Seasons -- where Clark’s mother is said to live -- just this past weekend and had been all over U.S. Route 231.

She knew nothing was official until the autopsy and dental records were complete, but she felt in her heart it was her friend.

“I believe it’s her, and if it is, I can’t see [Clark] getting out of it,” Wood said Monday. “He didn’t even bury her; he just left her out there.”

Wood said she and the group would love to find out who the hunters who found her were so they can thank them as well.

“Police told us it would probably be hunters who would stumble across her,” she said. “We’re very thankful to them.”

Calumet City police went to Chiodo’s home in the 1300 block of Price Avenue after her co-workers and friends said they were worried because Chiodo hadn’t shown up for work for three straight days, Carlisle said.

Police repeatedly knocked on the door, she said, until they saw the curtains inside the home move. They forced their way in and found Clark coming out of a back bedroom Carlisle said they searched the home but didn’t find Chiodo.

Blood was found splattered throughout the house and in garbage cans behind the home. Clark told police he and Chiodo had a fight Oct. 14 and he went to sleep, Carlisle said. When he woke up at noon he said Chiodo was gone and he hadn’t seen her since.

However, the prosecutor said Clark’s license plate was run by Chicago Police that day at East 105th Street and South Michigan Avenue about 9:55 a.m. that day, contradicting his statement.

Clark reportedly talked about telling police where to find the body in exchange for a deal.

He has previously been convicted of two armed robberies and residential burglary, Carlisle said. He also has a 2011 domestic battery conviction for punching a former girlfriend in the face.

The victim in that case -- for which Carlisle said he’s still serving conditional discharge -- said he threatened to kill her several times.



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