Crest Hill honors those in murder investigation
By Erin Biesen Correspondent January 25, 2013 9:00AM
Updated: February 28, 2013 6:41AM
Crest Hill honored several individuals for their role in resolving a homicide case.
On Nov. 18, John Batusich, an off-duty Lockport Township firefighter, was traveling down Caton Farm Road when he noticed fire coming from a residence.
Batusich called the fire in to 911, and then he entered the residence to save the lives of those inside.
Crawling on his hands and knees into the house, Batusich was able to locate the owner of the home and remove her from the residence.
“Unfortunately, the owner had already passed away, as she was a victim of murder. The fire had been started to cover up that murder,” Police Chief Dwayne Wilkerson said.
He praised Batusich for acting quickly to try and save lives, and honored him with the citizen commendation.
“He was unable to safe the owner’s life, but was able to save crucial evidence to the investigation that subsequently aided in the arrest of the suspect,” Wilkerson said.
“That day was a very tragic day. Fortunately, I guess I was in the right area at the time,” said Batusich. “I’m just glad that I was part of the team and able to help the other agencies out.”
The city also honored Deputy Chief Ed Clark, Investigator Jason Opiola and Investigator Renee Maly for their work in the investigation.
“On behalf of all the residents, thank you for your sacrifice, your commitment, your dedication and your loyalty not only to the township but to the city of Crest Hill and all the residents that you serve,” Mayor Ray Soliman said.
In other action, the council:
Honored Water/Waste Superintendent John Roberts, who will retire.
“It’s been a long road and we got a lot accomplished in the last six or seven years and I couldn’t have done it without council support,” said Roberts.
Granted a zoning change to B-3 special use for Cynthia Zanella, owner of the property at 2368 Plainfield Road. The city and Zanella reached an agreement to allow five vehicles to park overnight.