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Apparent burglar found dead in window

By Mark Shuman
Special to the Tribune
Published October 28, 2003

The lifeless body of a 36-year-old man from the Kane County village of Gilberts was discovered stuck in an Elgin family's kitchen window early this morning.

After an autopsy, the Kane County coroner determined the man died of "positional asphyxiation."

Authorities identified the victim as Craig Petropoulos, of the 100 block of Railroad Street in Gilberts, Elgin Police Lt. Mike Turner said.

Petropoulos was "a very big man," weighing about 250 pounds, Turner said. Police are investigating the case as an attempted burglary, he said.

A female resident of the two-story frame house in the 200 block of Franklin Boulevard had gone into the kitchen about 5:15 a.m. to prepare her lunch before leaving for work when she discovered the man hanging over a first-floor kitchen sink, said a man who lives in the home and asked not to be identified.

Police were called and found Petropoulos dead when they arrived at the home. He apparently had opened a double-hung first-floor window from a driveway, hoisted himself into the bottom frame of the window and then was unable to wriggle forward.

The victim's feet were about six inches above the driveway, and his head was suspended over the kitchen sink, Turner said.

Police and the male resident of the house said family members did not know the man and did not hear him attempt to enter the home.

There was no immediate evidence of drug or alcohol use by the victim, Turner said.

The coroner's office is awaiting results of toxicology tests.
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