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Paroled Illinois man remains in custody due to housing issue

October 7, 2018

YORKVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois man released on parole after spending decades in prison for fatally shooting five people in remains in prison as he awaits a viable housing option.

Carl Reimann, 77, was granted parole in April, but he’s been back at the Dixon Correctional Center since May after being removed from two housing arrangements, The Beacon-News reported . Reimann will remain in custody if a home isn’t found until his projected discharge date in Sept. 2039.

La Grange residents and officials complained that Reimann’s first home was located too close to a school. Similar complaints arose after he was relocated to a structured living facility in Calumet City.

Reimann had been in prison since June 1973 for the 1972 killing at Pine Village Steak House near Yorkville. Reimann and his girlfriend, Betty Piche, entered the restaurant with the intention of robbing it, according to police. Reimann shot five customers and workers, including a 16-year-old girl.

Reimann was sentenced to 150 years for each murder and 60 years for armed robbery. Piche, who was also convicted, was paroled in 1983.

Michelle Gardner-Morkert’s father, David Gardner, was 35 when Reimann fatally shot him. Gardner-Morkert has been pursuing information about Reimann’s parole conditions and where he may go.

“I never had to think twice of him during the 45 years he was in prison,” Gardner-Morkert said. “My job was to heal with my family and community. Now, it creates a sense of fear and re-victimization and all of a sudden, they are out and you don’t know where they are. So even as a peace of mind for the victims, it’s important to know.”

Reimann must be registered on the Illinois State Police Murder and Violent Offender Against Youth Registry, which unlike the sex offender registry, doesn’t specifically prohibit people from living near a school. He must also register with the chief of police of the town he resides in.

About 1,400 people who’ve been paroled remain in the state’s facilities because they’ve been unable to secure appropriate housing, according to Lindsey Hess, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. The extended stays can add up to $36 million to prison costs annually.

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Information from: The Beacon-News, http://beaconnews.chicagotribune.com/

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