Forest Park mourns mother of three

28-year-old killed on Dec. 6 in apparent murder-suicide

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By Maria Maxham

Lauren McDonald, 28, was the victim of a tragic murder on Dec. 6. She was killed by Kenneth L. Nelson, a 28-year-old from Joliet, who then shot himself.

Lauren's children attend Forest Park schools, and she was an active member of the community. Friends, relatives and residents are working to set up formal avenues through which people can assist her family.

The shooting took place on Dec. 6 at 5:10 p.m. when police officers were called to the 1500 block of Harlem Avenue in Forest Park with reports of two people down in the street.

Officers found McDonald and Nelson in the street, one in the curb lane and one partially on the sidewalk. Paramedics pronounced them both dead at the scene. Each had suffered gunshot wounds to the head.

It is believed that McDonald exited the passenger side door of a vehicle that had been traveling southbound on Harlem Avenue. Nelson then exited the driver side door and shot her before turning the gun on himself. A gun was recovered at the scene.

Forest Park Police Chief Tom Aftanas said the case is being investigated as a murder-suicide and that McDonald and Nelson were in an on-and-off relationship, but few other details are available at this point. 

The Major Crimes Taskforce is assisting with the investigation.

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