Convicted sex offender 29-year-old Timothy Doll has been arrested in connection with the sickening killing of 15-year-old Gracie Sasso-Cleveland. Gracie’s body was found in a dumpster near Timothy Doll’s residence three days after she went missing.
Police allege that Doll smothered Gracie to death with a pillow and he has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated criminal sexual abuse, concealment of a homicide, aggravated domestic battery, obstruction of justice, unlawful restraint, and unlawful communication by a child sex offender. If convicted, Doll faces 60 years in prison and could face extended charges because he’s already a convicted sex offender.
DeKalb Police Chief Byrd said, “Our officers are feeling this one. I’m very angry, and I know everyone in this building is angered by what occurred. This was an avoidable situation. This young lady should still be alive.” Byrd later added, “We want to at least warn not just parents, but the community as a whole, that we have to do a better job of looking out for our youth. They’re very impressionable, they’re very naive and we have to do everything that we can.”
The DeKalb, Illinois Police Department issued a press release on the horrific murder and what they’re doing with Doll, saying:
On the evening of 5/6/23, the DeKalb Police Department was notified about a 15-year-old female from DeKalb who had not been seen by family members since the evening of 5/4/23. Phone records indicated she had been at 536 College Avenue in DeKalb on 5/4/23.
An investigation led to police finding the body of the missing female in a dumpster on the afternoon of 5/7/23, on a property adjacent to 536 College Avenue. Various search warrants were conducted, and evidence led to a suspect being detained on 5/7/23 and formally charged on 5/8/23.
The suspect is currently in police custody. He is undergoing a necessary medical procedure at an area hospital before being admitted to jail.
[…]Doll is currently on probation for a prior Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse case from 2020. He was in compliance as a registered sex offender, having recently registered with the DeKalb Police Department on 4/14/23.
The investigation determined that Doll was in a dating relationship with the victim. On the evening of 5/4/23, Doll and the victim had argued and then he held the victim down and suffocated her with a pillow until she lost consciousness, to which she did not recover. He later put her body in the dumpster, removed her personal items from his apartment, and threw her phone away in the garbage at another location. The official cause of death was determined on 5/8/23 as asphyxiation by the Coroner’s Office.
The DeKalb County Major Case Squad was activated for this investigation. The DeKalb Police Department would like to thank the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office and Sycamore Police Department for their assistance as part of the Major Case Squad, which involved a number of detectives and officers working around the clock this past weekend. Thanks also to the DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Office and DeKalb County Coroner’s Office for their assistance and participation in this case.
Through this tragedy, the DeKalb Police Department and the family of the victim would like to stress the importance for parents and guardians to know their children’s whereabouts, who they are with, and the nature of their activities. As a community, always call the police if you hear or see things that are suspicious in nature, especially if someone’s wellbeing is possibly at stake. Additionally, there is no need to wait a certain period of time to report a missing person. There are also a number of community resources that can assist someone who is in an abusive relationship, including the Police Department, Safe Passage, and Family Service Agency.
Shaw Local News, reporting on Doll’s criminal history and history of preying on children, said:
At the time of the Sasso-Cleveland’s death, Doll recently was sentenced to 30 months probation after pleading guilty last month to charges of attempted child pornography and aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a minor, court records show.
Doll had been charged Jan. 11, 2020, with child pornography, aggravated criminal sex abuse and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He faced up to seven years in prison on the child pornography and sex abuse charges. According to court records, Doll was picked up in January 2020 on a warrant after it was learned there was a video of him sexually abusing a girl between 13 and 17 years old.
The victim in the 2020 case was not Sasso-Cleveland, prosecutors said Monday.
Court records show Doll posted $3,000 bail on a $30,000 reduced bond retired DeKalb County Judge Robbin Stuckert set June 30, 2020. He pleaded guilty in front of Circuit Court Judge Marcy Buick, who on April 12 sentenced Doll to 951 days, or 2½ years in DeKalb County Jail, and 30 months probation, records show. Doll also was ordered to pay $9,633 in court fees. At the time of his plea, however, he’d already served his jail time under electronic home monitoring.
Doll also was prohibited from having contact with minors or living or loitering within 500 feet of a school, public park, playground, daycare or any facility offering programs or services for children, records show.
A GoFundMe created by a friend of Gracie’s for the benefit of her family and to help them pay her unexpected funeral expenses said:
My name is Bethany. I am a close family friend or Gracie and I was asked to create this for the family to raise funds (they are on here as well as account holders who control the donations that are received ) … for the tragic and unexpected murder of 15 year old Gracie Sasso. She was last seen on Thursday may 4th and her body was found in a dumpster 5/7. She had just found out the man she thought she was dating was a 29 year old sex offender with a lengthy rap sheet. We are trying to raise money because Gracie did not come from a lot of money and this was obviously very unexpected, and Gracie deserves a proper goodbye.
Gracie was only 15, she had her entire life ahead of her and she has been torn from us, we are beyond devastated. She was bright, beautiful, and had loved kids. She always took extra time to hangout with whatever friends toddler she was around. A beautiful daughter, niece, sister, aunt, taken from us way too soon.
The family has decided on a cremation for Gracie and the money raised will be spent as so;
- cremation & urn/ celebration of life costs
- flying her immediate family to dekalb to help plan the memorial(most of her family live Washington state)
- emergency funds for things such as food, rent, utility bills, car note etc., incurred
- we want to contact the city and ask to build a memorial bench or something of the sort in her name on College Ave.
**Any leftover funds would go to her immediate family as well/ some donated to a charity that relates to the cause. **
Timothy Doll featured image credit: DeKalb Police Department, Gracie featured image credit: GoFundMe
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