A vehicle missing from the home of a woman found dead in Island Lake on Monday crashed into a Mundelein home Tuesday morning while police pursued the driver, who was wanted in a purse-snatching incident.
Island Lake police responded to the 700 block of Dartmouth Drive about 9:30 p.m. Monday, after a person reported being unable to reach a resident there, according to a statement from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.
Officers went inside and found the body of a woman, and a family member said a vehicle belonging to her appeared to be missing.
She was identified as 48-year-old Karen M. Scavelli, according to a statement from the McHenry County Coroner’s office. Preliminary autopsy findings suggest her cause of death was blunt force trauma.
The vehicle was found Tuesday morning after it crashed into a house in Mundelein, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.
Mundelein police had responded to the Gale Street Inn at 935 Diamond Lake Road about 8:27 a.m. after an employee reported a stolen purse. The caller provided a description of the suspect and a vehicle.
The reporting officer tried to stop the car as the suspect headed north, but the suspect made a very sharp U-turn at Route 45 and Diamond Lake Road, then accelerated away from police and crashed into a home, police said.
The vehicle crashed within minutes of leaving Gale Street Inn and within seconds of seeing police, according to Mundelein Police Chief Eric Guenther.
Guenther said the driver used a knife and hammer to inflict injuries to his arm, head and abdomen after the crash, and officers had to use a Taser on the man to stop him. Police provided emergency care until an ambulance arrived, Guenther continued.
No other vehicles were involved in the crash. The residents of the Diamond Lake Road home were not there at the time, police said, and only the driver was injured.
Paramedics took him to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville.
Regarding the purse-snatching report at the Gale Street Inn, Guenther said the man went to the restaurant by himself and was not familiar to the staff. He did not stay long, and was acting “strangely,” according to the caller who phoned about the stolen purse.
The driver is now being questioned by Island Lake police and the McHenry County Sheriff’s Major Investigations Assistance Team.
Contributing: Sun-Times Media Wire