The death of a 32-year-old man found lying on the street in the Lincoln Park neighborhood in late April was ruled a homicide by the Cook County medical examiner's office this week, officials said.
Jacob Klepacz, of the 1200 block of North Noble Street, was found in the 1500 block of West Fullerton Avenue and was pronounced dead at 4:21 a.m. April 28 at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
Klepacz was an avid Chicago sports fan who police said was found fatally beaten after he had left a Wrigleyville bar. Police were called to the scene on Fullerton about 3:55 a.m. April 28 following the report of a possible battery, and found the victim on the street with head trauma, Police News Affairs said at the time.
The results of an initial autopsy by the Cook County medical examiner's office were inconclusive, pending further studies. On Wednesday, the medical examiner's office determined that Klepacz died from blunt head trauma in an assault, with alcohol intoxication a contributing factor, in a homicide, according to a spokesman for the office.
Speaking from Wisconsin by phone Thursday, Klepacz’s father said he hoped the development would make an arrest more likely.
“I hope it starts moving on now and somebody’s arrested,” Chester Klepacz said. “They’ve been free too long.”
Chester Klepacz said he has not heard from authorities about the findings of the medical examiner's office, and he said police have revealed little about their investigation.
"It just doesn’t seem like we’re getting anywhere," he said.
Police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said the investigation into the death is "open and ongoing."
Klepacz's family has set up Facebook and Twitter accounts dedicated to his memory and finding "Justice for Jacob." On Wednesday, just hours before the ruling was announced, an administrator of the Facebook page shared:
"We are still hoping to get answers as to who killed Jacob. It's very frustrating for us and we are doing the best we can to wait it out and be patient. All we can do right now is to keep all of our wonderful memories of Jacob in our hearts, share his story, his laughter, his compassion and make sure he is NEVER forgotten. We love him and miss him every day."