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UPDATE: Details Into Arrest of Man Accused of 1997 Murder of Palatine Girl, 14, Expected Tuesday

Credit: Racine County Sheriff's Office
Credit: Racine County Sheriff's Office

A press conference Tuesday morning is expected to provide more details on the weekend arrest of a suspect — who has yet to be named — in the 1997 murder of Amber Gail Creek, 14, of Palatine, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

The press conference was originally scheduled for Monday afternoon but was postponed. 

Police in Racine County, Wis., announced over the weekend that they had arrested a 36-year-old Illinois man for the murder of Creek, according to the Racine Journal Times. 

The Racine County Sheriff's Office told the Journal Times they took the man, who they were unable to name, into custody on Saturday and said police had "solid, clear and overwhelming evidence" that the suspect was responsible for Creek's murder. 

Creek's aunt, Nora Mowers of Lake in the Hills, told the Daily Herald the arrest has not brought closure to Creek's family and said her sister (Creek's mother), hasn't stopped "crying long enough to talk to anyone," according to the Daily Herald. 

Robert Creek, Amber's father, told the Daily Herald Monday it was good to hear a new suspect had been found, and his stepmother, Carol Creek, said a conviction could bring "some closure." 

On Feb. 9, 1997, two men found Creek's body  in the Karcher Wildlife Refuge northeast of Lake Geneva and almost 16 months after she was found, police were able to identify her through the dental records and a missing child database, according to the Chicago Tribune. Creek, police said, was a habitual runaway, according to the article. 

She died of asphyxiation and her partially clothed and frozen body was found with a garbage bag over her head, according to the Chicago Tribune.

There was a $5 price tag on her arm, which police learned was from a bookstore in the Schaumburg area, and her body had been situated with her hand raised and the word "Hi" was written on the back of her hand, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Amber was last seen on Feb. 1 or 2, 1997, at a party in Rolling Meadows and was a ward of the state at the time of her disappearance after her father in December 1996 brought her to the Palatine Police Department "and told them he didn't want her living with him anymore," according to the Daily Herald. 

The Department of Child and Family Services took custody of Creek before she was placed in the Columbus-Maryville Center in Chicago, according to the article. She spent the first six years of her life living in Lake Zurich with her mother, according to the Daily Herald. 

The Racine County Sheriff's Office posted the following update on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon: "On Saturday, 04/05/2014, Investigator's from the Racine County Sheriffs Office made an arrest in the 1997 murder of 14 year old Amber Gail Creek. No unsolved murders will be forgotten by the members of the Racine County Sheriff's Office. Amazing work by everyone involved. We wish the family of Amber peace."


The above information was updated at 9 p.m. on April 7. 

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Police in Racine County, Wis., have arrested a 36-year-old Illinois man for the 1997 murder of Amber Gail Creek, 14, of Palatine, according to the Racine Journal Times. 

The Racine County Sheriff's Office told the Journal Times they took the man, who they were unable to name, into custody on Saturday and said police had "solid, clear and overwhelming evidence" that the suspect was responsible for Creek's murder. 

A news conference was scheduled for Monday afternoon where more information was expected on the suspect and what lead police to arrest him, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

On Feb. 9, 1997, two men found Creek's body  in the Karcher Wildlife Refuge northeast of Lake Geneva and almost 16 months after she was found, police were able to identify her through the dental records and a missing child database, according to the Chicago Tribune. Creek, police said, was a habitual runaway, according to the article. 

She died of asphyxiation and her partially clothed and frozen body was found with a garbage bag over her head, according to the Chicago Tribune.

There was a $5 price tag on her arm, which police learned was from a bookstore in the Schaumburg area, and her body had been situated with her hand raised and the word "Hi" was written on the back of her hand, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Amber was last seen on Feb. 1 or 2, 1997, at a party in Rolling Meadows and was a ward of the state at the time of her disappearance after her father in December 1996 brought her to the Palatine Police Department "and told them he didn't want her living with him anymore," according to the Daily Herald. 

The Department of Child and Family Services took custody of Creek before she was placed in the Columbus-Maryville Center in Chicago, according to the article. She spent the first six years of her life living in Lake Zurich with her mother, according to the Daily Herald. 

The Racine County Sheriff's Office posted the following update on its Facebook page Sunday afternoon: "On Saturday, 04/05/2014, Investigator's from the Racine County Sheriffs Office made an arrest in the 1997 murder of 14 year old Amber Gail Creek. No unsolved murders will be forgotten by the members of the Racine County Sheriff's Office. Amazing work by everyone involved. We wish the family of Amber peace."

Patch will update with more details as they become available. 

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