Updated 10/1/2010 10:40 a.m.
This morning Allan Kustok’s bond was set at $2 million by Judge Joan O’Brien at the Bridgeview courthouse. The next court date is scheduled for Oct. 25.
Updated 9/30/2010 6:01 p.m.
Allan Kustok, the husband of a Riverside school teacher found shot to death Wednesday morning in Orland Park, has been charged with homicide, according to Cook County state’s attorney’s office.
Orland Park police have still not released many details regarding the death of 58-year-old Anita “Jeanie” Kustok. The police department and the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force will hold a news conference on Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the Orland Park Police Department.
The Cook County medical examiner’s office ruled Kustok’s death a homicide Thursday afternoon, saying she died from a gunshot wound to the face.
Kustok taught gifted students at Hollywood and Central schools in Riverside for the past seven years. Principal Janice Limperis announced that no classes would be held on Friday at Central School. However, grief counselors would be available at Central School all day Friday for students and staff members needing someone to talk to.
Updated 9/30/2010 1:08 p.m.
A Riverside District 96 teacher, found dead yesterday morning in Orland Park, was the victim of a homicide, a spokesman from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said this afternoon.
An autopsy conducted this morning by the medical examiner revealed that Anita “Jeanie” Kustok was killed by a gunshot wound to the face.
Police in Orland Park are investigating yesterday’s shooting death of Anita “Jeanie” Kustok, who was a teacher at Central School in Riverside.
Kustok, 58, of Orland Park, was a teacher of gifted students in District 96 for seven years at both Central and Hollywood Schools. With the district expanding its QUEST gifted program for the 2010-11 school year, Kustok was assigned full time to Central School, where she taught about 25 students per day, said Central School Principal Janice Limperis.
“She was a very beloved teacher,” Limperis said, “very much a part of the district 96 family.”
While calling the incident a death investigation, Orland Park has enlisted the assistance of the South Suburban Major Crimes Task Force. Detectives from that agency were in Riverside from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday to interview staff, including Limperis, Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson and at least two other colleagues.
Lamberson described the questions from detectives as “typical,” and said police shed little light on where their investigation was heading.
“At that time they were unable or unwilling to share information,” Lamberson said.
Lamberson called Wednesday’s sequence of events “surreal.”
Limperis said she first learned something was amiss just after the school day began Wednesday, when Kustok’s students came to the office to inquire about her whereabouts. Limperis called Kustok’s cellphone and received no answer. Eventually, she was able to contact a family member, who was at a hospital.
“She was told it was a very serious matter,” Lamberson said. “She was told there was an incident.”
School staff were stunned by the news, said Lamberson. Just the day before, several of them ate lunch with Kustok, talking about plans for the weekend.
“To have her gone the next day is surreal to us,’ Lamberson said.
Police have released few details about Kustok’s death; the Cook County Medical Examiner is performing an autopsy this morning.
Limperis sent home a letter to Central School parents Wednesday afternoon, notifying them of Kustok’s death. Messages were also sent to parents at Hollywood School, where she taught last year, and to Hauser Junior High, where some of her former students attend.
Riverside-Brookfield High School has sent a counselor from Pillars to Central School today to be available for students. All of District 96’s social workers are at the school today as well. In addition, District 96 has brought in extra substitute teachers “if staff need to step out and talk to someone,” said Lamberson.
“We’ve activated all of our support mechanisms so we can focus on the needs of the kids,” Lamberson said.