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Divorce stress may be behind murder-suicide of father, toddler


Zuzanna Bzdek

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Updated: May 8, 2014 10:09AM

The strain of divorce may have driven a man to stab his 3-year-old daughter to death before taking his own life at their Woodridge home Friday afternoon, according to a relative.

Officers found Robert Bzdek, 34, dead at a home in the 2700 block of Meadowdale Lane about 4:30 p.m. with his daughter Zuzanna stabbed multiple times but still alive, according to Woodridge police.

Zuzanna was taken to Edward Hospital in Naperville, where she died in surgery, according to police, who called the incident a murder-suicide but had not released further details as of Sunday afternoon.

Bloody footsteps marked the path to a bedroom that Emanuel Szyszka, Bzdek’s teenage stepson, discovered when he came home that day, according to a posting on Szyszka’s personal Facebook page that he shared with the Sun-Times.

Szyszka, Zuzanna’s half-brother, said the man claimed he had cut his feet on glass, but when teen couldn’t open the bedroom door, he called police.

Bzdek had barricaded the door with a 2-by-4, stabbed the girl in the chest and hanged himself, according to Szyszka’s Facebook post.

“I watched as they carried out my limp sister out the door, and heard the police say that she was still breathing. Not until much later, did I learn that he had stabbed by precious Zuzia in the chest before he hung himself,” Szyszka wrote.

Szyszka said Bzdek committed the murder-suicide “to escape the troubles of [a] painful divorce.” Zuzanna’s mother declined to comment Sunday afternoon.

Szyszka created a website seeking donations to bury the little girl he called Zuzia.

“My sister was a wonderful child that could brighten anyone’s day with her glorious smile and charming personality,” Szyszka said in an email to the Sun-Times.

“She will be deeply missed, and we will never forget her as long as we live.”

Email: marmentrout@suntimes.tom

Twitter: @mitchtrout

Contributing: Becky Schlikerman

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