Bond denied for boyfriend charged with murder of Calumet City woman
BY MICHELLE QUINN Special to the Sun-Times October 20, 2012 1:28PM
Updated: October 21, 2012 4:02PM
A Cook County judge refused bail Sunday for the boyfriend of a missing Calumet City woman after a prosecutor described the bloody scene at her home where police said they found him Wednesday.
Assistant State’s Attorney Angela Carlisle also said Donal E. Clark, 42, spoke on the phone with his brother while in police custody and talked about telling police where they could find Gena Chiodo’s body “as long as he could get a deal.”
After court Clark’s attorney said he’s disappointed Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil chose to hold his client without bail. He made no prediction as to how Clark will plea Tuesday when he’s expected back in court. He said only that defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
Meanwhile, a man who would describe himself only as a spokesman for Chiodo’s family expressed his gratitude to investigators who have tried to locate her after she went missing last week.
“We wish the Clark family will show mercy on us and let us know where Gena is so we can put her to rest,” he said.
Authorities announced Saturday Clark had been charged with first-degree murder and concealment of a homicide in connection with Chiodo’s disappearance.
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 was dysfunctional. She said Chiodo wished her a happy birthday when they talked on the phone Oct. 13.
The next day, Nasella said she texted Chiodo to invite her out for dinner but never heard back.
Calumet City Police went to Chiodo’s home Wednesday 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.
Instead, Carlisle said, they found blood spatter on the walls, desk and treadmill in a first-floor room used as an office and weight room. They found blood under the toilet bowl in a first-floor bathroom that smelled of bleach, was missing a shower curtain and seemed to have been recently cleaned.
There was blood on a comforter, pillow and towel in the first-floor master bedroom, the prosecutor said, and a small pool of blood was on a carpet inside the back-door landing.
Upstairs police found a large mirror had been broken in another bedroom. There was a broken picture frame and part of a bloody shower curtain rod in the kitchen. Officers also found a bucket and mop and an empty bottle of bleach.
In the garbage cans behind the house Carlisle said police found a rug with a large blood stain on it, a bloody lingerie skirt, a broken necklace and ashtray and pieces of broken furniture, a plastic shower curtain covered in blood, two broken cell phones with SIM cards missing, broken picture frames and a bloody bath mat.
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 105th and Michigan at about 9:55 a.m., contradicting his statement.
Chiodo’s car was still in the driveway when police searched the house, Carlisle said. Her clothes and shoes were still in her closet. Police also found her birth certificate and Social Security card, and several of her credit cards were in a shredder in the kitchen.
Her car keys were in a pair of men’s gym shoes that had blood on the soles and toe areas, the prosecutor said.
Clark had a phone conversation with his brother after his arrest on Thursday, Carlisle said. He said he woke up and Chiodo was in his arms, covered in blood, and he said he tried to give her mouth-to-mouth.
That’s also when the prosecutor said Clark talked about telling police where to find the body in exchange for a deal.
Clark 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.
After court Sunday Clark’s attorney, Michael O’Meara, said the hearing was the first time he heard the “serious allegations” prosecutors are making against his client. He said he wanted the judge to set bail, which would give Clark a chance to get out of jail.
“We are disappointed in the judge’s decision,” O’Meara said. “However, we respect the judge’s decision.”