Grayslake home invasion suspect John Baruffi Jr. walked out of the Lake County Jail Tuesday, Dec. 4 a free man, two months after he was charged with three felonies.
The three felony counts — Class X Armed Robbery, Class 1 Residential Burglary and Class 3 Aggravated Unlawful Restraint, were dismissed by Lake County Circuit Court Judge Daniel B. Shanes.
Baruffi's defense attorney, Brett M. Henne of the law firm Swanson, Martin & Bell, said it was determined that 26-year-old Baruffi, whose last known address is Mundelein, was not present when the alleged Sept. 28 home invasion occurred.
"He was not there at all. He was with family."
Henne said the prosecution could find no evidence to support Baruffi's alleged involvement in the incident, which was reported to have occurred shortly before 11 p.m. Sept. 28 in the 1000 block of Manchester Circle in Grayslake's College Trail subdivision, near the College of Lake County.
Three suspects, who allegedly unlawfully entered the townhome of two brothers and restrained and robbed them at gunpoint, led police on a five-hour manhunt that involved a helicopter, police dogs and thermal imaging cameras after they crashed their car into an electric pole on Atkinson Road near Brae Loch Road then fled on foot.
The three men were located and arrested. A warrant was issued for the arrest of a man the victims claimed was a fourth suspect, their friend John Baruffi, who turned himself in to police a few days later.
Police conducted a thorough search of the area where the suspects crashed their car and fled, but never located any firearms the victims claimed the suspects used.
On Oct. 25, the Lake and McHenry Counties Sonar Team did a water search of Mill Creek near the Cherry Creek subdivision at Atkinson Road and Washington Street for a possible weapon and came up empty.
Henne said DNA found on ski caps worn by two of the suspects did not match Baruffi's. Henne said there was also a traffic ticket and cell phone found in the abandoned vehicle that had no link to his client.
No charges pending
Patch has also learned that the three felony charges of Class X Armed Robbery, Class 1 Residential Burglary and Class 4 Unlawful Restraint against another suspect, Richard A. Kellogg, 18, of Waukegan, were dropped on Oct. 25, according to the Lake County Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Scott Hoffert, who was the prosecutor in the Baruffi case, told Patch, "There are no pending charges at this time," meaning no other suspects have been charged in connection with this case.
However, said Hoffert, the investigation is on-going.
"This is a very involved case in that the state's attorney's office did not charge all suspects the night they were in custody," Grayslake Police Chief Phil Perlini told Patch.
"I can't comment further as there is still pending DNA and other labs. We will continue to work with the state's attorney's office to prosecute this case and charge any defendants as the states attorney's office approves."
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