ELIZABETH, Ill. — An Elizabeth woman was arrested Wednesday and charged with killing an infant, according to authorities.
Elizabeth M. Roen, 27, faces a charge of first-degree murder, according to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Northwest Illinois Critical Incident Response Team.
The release said she killed Tripp Luebke and that her arrest came after a follow-up investigation Wednesday conducted by the Elizabeth Police Department, with assistance from the critical incident response team, FBI and Jo Daviess County State’s Attorney’s Office.
But the release does not state when Tripp died or Roen’s relationship to the child.
Reached by phone, Elizabeth Police Chief Scott Toot declined to release any information that wasn’t included in the release, including any possible relationship between Roen and the child.
Both the FBI and Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Department referred questions to Toot.
A May 17 obituary for Tripp C. Luebke published in the Monroe (Wis.) Times lists an Elizabeth Roen as the child’s mother.
Elizabeth M. Roen is a registered sex offender who previously was convicted of child abuse in Grant County, Wis. The Illinois Sex Offender Registry lists her address as 526 S. Madison St., No. 5.
Elizabeth police previously reported that authorities responded to 526 S. Madison St. on May 15 after receiving a 911 call that a child who was “approximately 6 months old” and lived at that address was not breathing.
The child was taken by ambulance to Midwest Medical Center in Galena and later airlifted to Rockford Memorial Hospital, where he died at about 5:45 p.m. May 15, according to a press release issued at that time.
Police at that time declined to release the name of the child to the Telegraph Herald.
But the Freeport Journal Standard reported that a local coroner said the child’s name was Tripp Luebke and that he was 6 months old. Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz told the newspaper that Tripp’s mother put him down to sleep and went into another room and later discovered her son wasn’t breathing.
Hintz could not be reached for comment by the Telegraph Herald on Wednesday.
In 2009, Roen was convicted by a Grant County jury of two counts of child abuse. The Grant County Sheriff’s Department reported at the time that Roen’s daughter suffered severe burns to her feet and other minor injuries, but she was not taken to the hospital until the following day.
The child was left alone in a bathtub with scalding water for a few minutes while Roen changed her daughter’s bed sheets, according to a criminal complaint. The toddler also had a black eye and a cut below her eye.
In that case, Roen was sentenced to 60 days in jail and three years of probation.
In 2010, Roen was convicted of a sex crime in Grant County, prompting her listing on the state sex offender registry.