A Frisco, TX, man who grew up in northern Kane County, IL, has been charged with murdering his East Dundee grandmother.
Rich A. Schmelzer, 41, of the 11700 block of Coronado Trail, Frisco, TX, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his grandmother, 85-year-old Mildred “Dodie” Darrington of East Dundee.
The charges allege that sometime after midnight July 18, 2014, Schmelzer stabbed Darrington in her East Dundee home, killing her.
Later that day when Darrington failed to show up for her regular hair appointment, her hairdresser went to Darrington’s home to check on her and found Darrington unresponsive in her bed. The hairdresser immediately called 911. When East Dundee police arrived at Darrington’s home, they determined that Darrington was dead. A July 19 autopsy ruled the death to be a homicide.
A warrant for Schmelzer’s arrest was issued Aug. 22, 2014, and his bail was set at $5 million, with 10 percent ($500,000) to apply for bond. Schmelzer was taken into custody at his home shortly before 4 p.m. CDT Aug. 25, 2014, by U.S. Marshals.
At this time, according to East Dundee Police, Schmelzer, is in custody in Denton County, TX. Schmelzer awaits extradition to Kane County, where his initial court appearance has not been determined.
If convicted, Schmelzer would be sentenced to between 20 and 60 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
“Thanks to East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee and the East Dundee Police Department, the Kane County Major Crimes Task Force, the Frisco, TX, Police Department, the U.S. Marshals, and the Texas Rangers for their hard work in investigating this case. The people of Kane County should be pleased that so many agencies from outside Illinois were willing to partner with us and share resources to solve this crime,” Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said.
“Our work in this case is just beginning, but I wish to assure Mrs. Darrington’s family, friends and neighbors that our goal is justice for Mrs. Darrington, for her family and for the East Dundee community.”
The charges against Schmelzer are not proof of guilt. Schmelzer is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial in which it is the state’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office press release