April 2 Designated Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Day
The community of Indian Head Park has issued a proclamation that her birthday will be celebrated every year as a memorial day to the slain teen starting today.
At 3 p.m. Monday, residents of the community of Indian Head Park will observe one minute of silence in memory of Kelli O'Laughlin, who was brutally murdered in her own home last October. On what would have been her 15th birthday, the community has designated today and every April 2 going forward, Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Day.
A proclamation dated March 8 and signed by Indian Head Park Mayor Richard S. Andrews stated in part,
"Whereas Kelli Joy exhibited a vivacious personality, love of life and concern for others as exemplifiied by her infectious joy and sparkling smile, and had dreams of using her God-given talents someday as a pediatrician or school teacher; and whereas Kelli Joy was lost to us before she could achieve the promise of her life or reach the destiny of her potential, therefore I, Richard S. Andrews, Mayor of the Village of Indian Head Park, in recognition that Kelli Joy has touched the residents of our community, and to commemorate her precious life and her vibrant spirit that remains with us, do hereby proclaim April 2, 2012, and every April 2 herafter, as 'Kelli Joy O'Laughlin Memorial Day.'
O'Laughlin, a lifelong resident of Indian Head Park and freshman at Lyons Township High School was a former Girl Scout and avid tennis player.
More than five months after her death, trees in Indian Head Park and Western Springs continue to wear white ribbons around them in her memory, and birthday wishes already have begun to be posted on her Memorial Facebook page.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night, one Facebook poster wrote, "Happy Birthday Kelli. May you be at peace and feel the love of everyone who misses you. God Bless."
The village also has plans for a memorial to be dedicated later this year in Sacajawea Park, a park near her home where "Kelli Joy spent countless hours at play," according to the proclamation.
St. John of the Cross in Western Springs, the church where funeral services were held for O'Laughlin, has posted a prayer on the Internet, asking people to remember her family and friends as Easter Sunday approaches.
John L. Wilson, the man charged with O'Laughlin's death, has a long criminal history. Police said he was on parole less than a year when he entered the O'Laughlin home in order to burglarize it. Wilson has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 23.