Police charge boyfriend in death of missing stylist
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent October 20, 2012 6:10PM
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:49AM
CALUMET CITY, Ill. — The boyfriend of a missing Munster hair stylist was charged late Saturday in her death.
At a press conference at the Calumet City Police Department, Donal E. Clark, 42, of the 1300 block of Price Avenue, was charged with murder and concealment, according to police.
The body of Gena Chiodo, 42, has not been found, police said.
Earlier Saturday, police called off a search by volunteers hoping to find clues into Chiodo’s disappearance. She had been missing since Oct. 13.
A “person of interest” provided police with new information in Chiodo’s disappearance, Calumet City Police Chief Edward Gilmore said Saturday, and investigators wanted to focus on those leads first before searching area forest preserves.
Chiodo was last heard from Oct. 13, when a friend spoke to her by phone. Chiodo’s vehicle and house keys were left at her home, police said.
Meanwhile, friends and family gathered Saturday at the Knights of Columbus, Lansing Council 3540 in Lansing, Ill., after the search was called off.
“I would be jumping off the ceiling if the police told us she was alive,” said friend Patty Nasella, of Lansing, with whom Chiodo lived for two years and referred to as her “other mother.” “But as the days have gone by, it’s not looking good.”
Nasella said she last talked to Chiodo Oct. 13, when Chiodo wished her a happy birthday.
Nasella texted Chiodo the next day to invite her out for dinner but heard nothing back. She wasn’t concerned, though, because Chiodo often turned her phone off.
On Wednesday, Nasella received a call from another friend, Michelle Mack, telling her that the Hammond police had come to her home for a wellness check after Chiodo’s co-workers at the Hair Cuttery on Calumet Avenue in Munster called and told them she hadn’t come into work or called since Tuesday. Chiodo listed Mack’s address as her primary residence.
The woman’s father, Donald L. Chiodo, 70, of Cape Coral, Fla., said his daughter moved to the area 10 years ago and that she’d made some good friends. He, his wife, Joyce, and older brother Donald are grateful for their support because the three can’t travel because of health issues.
He said he and his daughter had a good relationship, and that he had kept in touch at least once a week to make sure everything was all right. They, too, aren’t optimistic of the outcome.
“My gut tells me something bad has happened — really bad,” Donald Chiodo said. “I’m frustrated, helpless and can’t do anything from here.”