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McHenry man charged in Island Lake murder

Published: Thursday, June 5, 2014 6:37 p.m. CDT
Caption
Howard Dibbern

WOODSTOCK – A parolee with a lengthy criminal record has been charged with the murder of an Island Lake woman.

Howard E. Dibbern, 49, of McHenry remains in custody at the McHenry County Jail in lieu of $2 million bond. He was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree murder and theft of a motor vehicle, three days after 48-year-old Karen Scavelli was found dead in her home.

Island Lake Police were called Monday to 735 Dartmouth Drive to check on the well being of Scavelli when they found her dead in the home. An autopsy revealed she died of blunt force trauma.

The details surrounding Scavelli's death remain unclear. Authorities declined to say how Dibbern and Scavelli knew each except that they were "short-term acquaintances." Police ask that anyone with information that will help piece together a time line to contact the authorities.

"Anything we say right now would be speculation at this point," McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke said Thursday night. "We're confident we've got the right person in custody."

Dibbern was taken into custody after being treated and released from a Lake County hospital. Police said he crashed Scavelli's vehicle into a Mundelein home after giving police a short chase. He then brandished a knife at officers who subdued Dibbern with a stun gun, Zinke said.

Zinke declined to comment on the nature of Dibbern's injuries and whether they were caused by the crash, the knife or the altercation with officers. No Mundelein officers were injured in the confrontation, he said.

Dibbern is on parole after serving three years in the Department of Corrections on a weapons charge out of Cook County. He was released April 24, according to prison records.

His history of incarceration dates back to 1997, when he was sentenced to five years on a forgery charge out of McHenry County. Other felony convictions include those for theft, residential burglary and aggravated domestic battery.

In 2002, Dibbern was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, for which – according to McHenry County court records – he stabbed his girlfriend with a knife, choked her and punched her in the stomach. In that case, he also stole the woman's car and was charged with theft. The domestic battery charge eventually was dropped, and he was sentenced to 30 months in prison on the theft charge.

Investigators are looking to speak to anyone who may have spoken to or have knowledge of the whereabouts of Dibbern and Scavelli on June 2 or 3. Those with information may call the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Tipline at 815-338-2144, email tipline@co.mchenry.il.us or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers of McHenry County at 800-762-7867. They also may call Island Lake Police at 847-526-2100.

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