January 12, 2007

Cable guy arrested in local murder

Comcast Cable TV technician Anthony Triplett is currently being held in custody without bail for the alleged rape and murder of two Chicago women, including Hyde Park resident Janice Ordidge.

Ordidge, a resident of Hyde Park’s Twin Towers apartment complex, and Urzula Sakowska were found dead in their bathtubs only hours after Triplett came to upgrade their high-speed Internet service, according to police reports. In each case there were signs of sexual assault.

The murders, which occurred on October 22 and December 8 of last year, respectively, are being tried separately.

Triplett was already being held without bail for the Ordidge murder when police arrested him again on December 14 for the Sakowska murder, according to Sabra Ebersole, the Cook County prosecutor handling the Sakowska portion of the case against him.

Triplett was arrested three times in connection with the Ordidge murder before police felt confident enough about the evidence to charge him with the killing.

“At that time, we had no probable cause to arrest him. We had no evidence that directly linked him to this crime,” said Commander Patricia Walsh of the Chicago Police.

Police later found DNA evidence allegedly linking Triplett to the murder. They also recovered Ordidge’s iPod from a witness who claims Triplett sold it to him.

Triplett was arrested for the Sakowska case only after being attached to the Ordidge murder.

Ebersole began outlining the County’s case against him in his Sakowska bail hearing, where he was also denied bail. Ebersole cited at least two witnesses and numerous pieces of evidence.

“When police processed the scene of Sakowska’s home, they noticed an empty Seiko watch box,” she said. “When police executed a search warrant on Triplett’s van on December 12, they observed him throw a Seiko watch to the ground. The watch was recovered, and the model number on the watch matched the number on the box from the home.”

Ebersole said police also recovered Sakowska’s credit card just two blocks from the site of another service call he made on December 8.

Police found two witnesses that could put Triplett at the scene of the crime. “On December 8, two witnesses saw the defendant’s cable van parked in front of the victim’s home in the late morning hours,” Ebersole said.

She also said that a vaginal swab test taken from the victim did not rule Triplett out as the source.

The murders have area residents fearing for their safety. One of Ordidge’s neighbors, who requested to remain anonymous, said, “I am still shocked and scared about what happened.”

Comcast is denying any responsibility for the murderers, but Alderman Edward Burke is calling for Comcast and other house call companies to conduct in-depth background searches into their employees before they go to work.

“I think the people of Chicago have a right to expect that when they call for repairs for their internet or repairs to their electric service, that the company is not going to send some sex-crazed murderer into their home,” Burke said.