NORTHBROOK — Pictures of a person of interest in the murder investigation of a Northbrook attorney killed in his office December 7 were released by the Northbrook Police Department January 4.After nearly a month of a continuing investigation that includes interviews with multiple witnesses, Northbrook Police Commander Mike O’Malley said an unidentified man was now a person of interest in the strangling death of Jigar K. Patel.
Patel, 36, was killed in his office at 1363 Shermer Road December 7.
O’Malley said the person of interest was identified through surveillance photographs taken at the building near the front door.
“We are unable to identify who the person is from the photo,” O’Malley said. He also said no one interviewed could identify the person.
The man is wearing a hat, carrying a bag over his shoulder and walking with a cane. Police consider him a person of interest because of when the photographs were recorded, according to O’Malley.
Police have been showing surveillance videos to some tenants of the building, according to a January 3 Chicago Tribune story. One of the people interviewed in the story, Ralph Cram of Envoy Leasing Partners, gave a description in the story similar to the photograph released by the police.
“It’s a man, but he was covered up, wearing a trench coat and a hat,” said Cram in the Tribune story. “He definitely knew what he was doing. The guy knew where the video cameras were. He knew how to approach the elevator and the stairs without turning his head up to the camera.”
Police first went to Patel’s office December 7 to perform a well being check around 7:30 p.m. after getting a call from Prospect Heights police, according to Northbrook Police Chief Charles Wernick in a December 10 DNS story. Wernick said Patel’s wife called Prospect Heights police.
When officers arrived, they found Patel dead, according to a December 9 DNS story. The cause of death was asphyxia due to ligature strangulation, according to Becky Schlikerman of the Cook County Bureau of Administration.
Patel was last seen alive at approximately 4 p.m. December 7 by his secretary just before she left the office, according to Wernick.
In December Wernick said it was the first murder in Northbrook in five years, and that more than 40 people from both the Northbrook Police Department and the North Regional Crimes Task Force were working on the case.
O’Malley said both Northbrook Police and members of the task force continue to try to solve the murder though there are fewer investigators are involved.