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$15,000 reward offered in killing of Elgin artist

A memorium was placed outside home LisKoziol-Ellis who found stabbed death this weekend her Garden Quarter home.  March 4

A memorium was placed outside of the home of Lisa Koziol-Ellis who found stabbed to death this weekend in her Garden Quarter home. March 4, 2013 | Michael Smart~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 14, 2013 6:52AM

ELGIN — Family and friends of Lisa Koziol-Ellis are offering at least $15,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killer.

Weeping uncontrollably and flanked by his parents, her husband, Dash Ellis, made that announcement at a news conference Tuesday afternoon at Elgin Paolice headquarters.

Lt. Sean Rafferty, the head of the police department’s Major Investigations Division, remained tight-lipped about what the detectives working on the case have found.

Koziol-Ellis, a 33-year-old avant garde artist and jewelry maker, was found stabbed to death about 2:30 a.m. March 2 in her Elgin town house. She and her husband had moved there from Chicago just three days before she was killed.

Ellis told police he found his wife’s body when he came home from work.

Friends of the family have set up a website,, to solicit more money for the reward and to gather tips. Ellis said about $15,000 has been pledged so far.

“She was the most amazing person I ever met,” Ellis said at the news conference. “She was kind and generous and loving — just a beautiful person.”

Ellis said he didn’t know of any issues his wife had had with anyone else. He said they had been together for eight years and married six years ago.

He said they had decided to move to Elgin because they wanted “something more permanent — a change of scenery — somewhere safe.”

He said they picked Elgin because she had grown up in the suburbs, and he had relatives “out this way.”

His father, Jeff Ellis, begged anyone who knows what happened to call investigators. “I don’t care why you do it. Do it for the money. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. But do it,” he said.

Ellis’ mother, Carrie Breckie, said that friends of Lisa and Dash set up the website and started collecting the reward money — “and these aren’t rich people.”

The couple had sold arts and crafts at Elgin’s Monster Mash Up festival last summer. Koziol-Ellis was well-known in the Chicago arts and entertainment community, sometimes emceeing shows and parties.

Rafferty said Elgin detectives continue to work on the case “around the clock” but “we are not prepared to release any specific information at this time.”

He said investigators realized that social media played a big role in the life of Koziol-Ellis and her friends, and their investigation has included studying websites that talked about her and on which she posted messages.

On her own “Foxy Goat” Facebook page, she had described herself as “a goat-flavored smut lover who makes dazzling jewelry and random art awesomeness.”

Rafferty said numerous tips about the case already have come in from the public and that each one will be checked out, even though many seem to be not relevant to the murder. He said dozens of people have been interviewed.

Anyone with information is urged to call the police at (847) 695-4195, an anonymous tip line or (847) 289-2700, the Elgin Police number. They may also text an anonymous tip to 847411; include ELGINPD in the beginning of the text along with the message and/or tip information.

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