CALUMET CITY | When police first confronted a man who now faces criminal charges in the death of his girlfriend, he said he woke up about noon Oct. 15 to discover her missing from their south suburban home.
But prosecutors say police discovered blood spatters and broken items in several rooms and in the garage of the house on Price Street.
Andrew Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County state's attorney's office, also said Donal E. Clark's account was contradicted by a record indicating Chicago police stopped his car and checked his record about 9 a.m. Oct. 15 — a few hours before he claimed to have woken up that day.
“There are flaws in the story he told police,” Conklin said, adding that those flaws along with physical evidence at the house led to Clark being charged with murder and concealment of a homicide, even though police as of Monday had yet to find the body of Gena Chiodo, the girlfriend whom he had lived with in recent months.
Calumet City police have said they were alerted to Chiodo’s disappearance Wednesday when Hammond police told them of a missing persons report that had been filed with them.
Conklin said Calumet City police made a “well-being check” at Chiodo’s home, where they eventually found Clark, who told them he had been asleep and had not heard their knocking on the door.
Police Chief Edward Gilmore said “evidence of foul play” was found, although he refused to elaborate.
But when Clark appeared at the Criminal Courts building Sunday for a bond hearing, Conklin said prosecutors described a scene with blood spatters found on a treadmill and a desk located in an office.
In the master bedroom, prosecutors found blood in several spots, including on a towel wadded on the floor. Police also found blood behind a toilet bowl in the bathroom, although Conklin said police noted a “strong smell of bleach” in that room.
Later, police found some blood stains, a bucket, mop and empty bleach bottle in a landing near the back door of the house, Conklin said.
Clark did not provide police or prosecutors with any explanation for the house’s condition. Although Conklin said Clark told them he had a fight with Chiodo the night of Oct. 14, at which time he went to bed. He claimed to have noticed her missing when he woke up the following day at noon.
Clark will make his first appearance Tuesday at the 6th District Cook County Circuit Court in Markham. Although scheduled as a preliminary hearing, it is likely that it will be continued to a later date, at which time prosecutors may announce his indictment on various criminal charges.
Michael O’Meara, who is Clark’s attorney, declined to say much about his client. “We’re going to hear what kind of evidence the prosecution thinks it has, then I will negotiate with them on behalf of my client,” he said