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Crime & Courts

Bodies found in Warrenville condo identified as fatal crash suspect, ex-wife

Brian Thunderkick charged in Wheaton crash that killed 23-year-old

WARRENVILLE – The Warrenville Police Department on Feb. 23 identified the man and woman found dead Feb. 22 in a condominium in Warrenville as Brian Thunderkick, 62, and his ex-wife, Laura Arns, also 62.

Thunderkick, of the 2S600 block of Pierre Curie Lane, Warrenville, had been charged in a high-speed crash that killed Erika Villagomez, 23, in September 2017 on Butterfield Road in Wheaton.

Autopsies of both Thunderkick and Arns were conducted by the DuPage County Coroner’s Office, according to a news release from the Warrenville Police Department. The official cause of death is pending the return of toxicology results, the release stated.

On Feb. 22, Warrenville police found the bodies of Thunderkick and Arns while assisting Wheaton detectives in serving Thunderkick with an arrest warrant after he missed a court appearance Feb. 22. He shared the condominium with Arns.

Thunderkick had been formally indicted on charges of reckless homicide, attempting to leave the scene of an accident resulting in personal injury or death, and aggravated battery in a public place after he allegedly crashed his vehicle into the back of Villagomez’s car while traveling at 135 mph, authorities said.

At about 11 a.m. Sept. 30, 2017, Wheaton police responded to the fatal crash just east of Naperville Road, finding the victim’s Honda Accord completely engulfed in flames.

Thunderkick was being held in the DuPage County Jail until he was released in October 2017 after posting 10 percent of a $150,000 bond. DuPage County Judge George Bakalis had scheduled a March 29 hearing to decide whether he would have to forfeit his bond.

Prosecutors on Oct. 4, 2017, filed a petition to increase his bond to $2 million in light of new information in the case, including that Thunderkick was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in 1973. Bakalis denied the motion Oct. 11.

Thunderkick pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Nov. 6, 2017.

An off-duty River Grove police officer who witnessed the collision said Thunderkick traveled at an extremely high rate of speed on the shoulder, crossed in the left lane of westbound Butterfield Road, and rear-ended the victim's car, according to the petition.

Following the crash, Thunderkick was transported to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, where his urine tested positive for barbiturates, the petition stated. Barbiturates are central nervous system depressants, according to Mayo Clinic. They can be used to treat insomnia, epilepsy and other conditions.

The "black box" in Thunderkick's car indicated his black Camaro was traveling at 135 mph before it hit the victim's car. While being interviewed by Wheaton police Oct. 1, 2017, Thunderkick allegedly said "he wanted to open it up," according to the petition.

"The defendant admitted that he was driving recklessly and that he had his gas pedal 'all the way down,'" the petition stated.

Thunderkick also allegedly shoved a woman trying to give him aid after the crash and prevent him from leaving the scene.

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