Many in the Springfield community were left in shock and mourning following the tragic death of 72-year-old Darlene O’Bryan, who was found unresponsive in her home on March 15. After a thorough investigation, officials have now announced that a suspect has been arrested in connection with her murder.
Fredrick D. Degraffenried, 54, was taken into custody on Wednesday and is facing several charges, including home invasion, robbery, theft, unlawful use of credit card, and first-degree murder. He is currently being held in Sangamon County jail without bond.
Police were initially called to O'Bryan's home on the morning of March 15 after she was found unresponsive. According to officials, O'Bryan suffered blunt force injuries to her head and chest, and was also stabbed in her neck and chest. O’Bryan was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sangamon County States attorney Dan Wright emphasized the efforts of the Springfield Police Department in the case, stating, “It cannot be overstated, the degree to which the men and women of the Springfield Police Department work this case from the first moment that they were involved in a tireless and meticulous way that put my office in a position to charge this case as quickly as we were able to get this person off the street without any ability to be released to protect this community.”