A 29-year-old convicted child sex offender in Illinois has been arrested for allegedly killing a 15-year-old high school freshman girl he was “dating,” and whose body he then tossed into a dumpster behind his home.
Timothy M. Doll was taken into custody on Sunday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the slaying of Gracie A. Sasso-Cleveland, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
In addition to the murder charges, Doll was also charged with two counts of obstruction of justice as well as one count each of aggravated criminal sex abuse, concealment of a homicide, aggravated domestic battery unlawful restraint, and unlawful communication by a child sex offender.
According to a press release from the DeKalb Police Department, officers on the evening of Saturday, May 6 received a call regarding a 15-year-old girl — later identified as Sasso-Cleveland — who had not been seen or heard from by her family since May 4. Police said Sasso-Cleveland’s phone records indicated that on May 4, she had been at 536 College Avenue in DeKalb, which is the address listed on Doll’s sex offender registration.
The registration states that Doll was previously convicted on one count each of aggravated criminal sexual abuse on a 14-year-old victim and possessing child pornography depicting a victim under the age of 13.
Investigators with the department’s Major Case Squad on the afternoon of May 7 were able to locate Sasso-Cleveland’s body inside a dumpster that was located on the property next to 536 College Avenue, the release states. After obtaining and executing several search warrants, police say they obtained evidence that led them to detain Doll the same day Sasso-Cleveland’s body was recovered. He was formally charged with her murder the following day.
At the time of his arrest, Doll was on probation for the aforementioned sexual assault of a 14-year-old. Doll had pleaded guilty to the charges on April 12, was sentenced to probation, and registered his sex offender status with DeKalb PD on April 14, police said.
The investigation revealed that Doll had been “in a dating relationship” with Sasso-Cleveland prior to her death.
According to the release, on the evening of May 4, 2023, Doll and Sasso-Cleveland were in a heated argument when Doll allegedly held Sasso-Cleveland down and “suffocated her with a pillow until she lost consciousness, to which she did not recover.”
Doll then allegedly brought her body outside and tossed her into the dumpster behind his building. After discarding the victim’s remains, investigators say that Doll removed all of Sasso-Cleveland’s personal items from his apartment and threw away her phone in the garbage at another location.
The DeKalb County Coroner’s Office on Monday determined that Sasso-Cleveland’s official manner of death was a homicide and the cause of death was asphyxiation.
The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office, the County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the Sycamore Police Department also assisted in the case.
“He’s a predator, and he sought out a young victim — an innocent 15-year-old girl, and snuffed her life out,” DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd said during a news conference on the case. The chief also said that he was particularly upset about the circumstances Sasso-Cleveland’s death, and urged the community to come forward when they know about such an illegal relationship.
“It angers me because I think we could’ve saved this young lady if we would’ve been notified about the situation that was occurring that night,” Byrd said.
A GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of Sasso-Cleveland’s funeral was set up by a family friend. The page states that prior to her death, Sasso-Cleveland had “just found out” that Doll “was a 29-year-old sex offender with a lengthy rap sheet.”
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