Chicago Tribune (IL)
In Coma a Month
Johnny Lindquist Dies
DAVID YOUNGDAVID YOUNG
Edition: Chicago Tribune
Johnny Lindquist, who lost his fight to stay with his foster parents five months ago, lost his fight for life yesterday.
The battle for life ended at 1 p. m. in the antiseptic surgical intensive care unit of St. Anne's Hospital, where he had remained in a coma since, battered and unconscious, he was rushed there more than a month ago.
He remained unconscious thru his 7th birthday last Monday while greetings and packages from well-wishers poured into the hospital.
The foster parents from whom he was taken in tears last March 28 had maintained a daily vigil at the hospital since the beating. Mrs. Robert Karvanek rushed to St. Anne's from the Chicago Home of a relative when she learned of his death.
Father in Jail
Mrs. Karvanek had scheduled a meeting with reporters, but a hospital spokesman said she was too stricken with grief to appear, and he read a statement he said was given him by the Karvaneks.
"My husband and I want to express our heartfelt thanks to the wonderful people from all over the country who have aided Johnny in his fight to live during the past month....We hope Johnny's sacrfiice will prevent anything like this from happening to another child," read a portion of the statement.
Neither of Johnny's natural parents was present when he died.
His father, William, 31, has been in County Jail charged with giving Johnny the beating that sent him to the hospital July 28. After Johnny's death, Lindquist was charged with murder.
The Rev. John Erwin, Protestant chaplain in the jail, said Lindquist learned of his son's death thru a television news bulletin, according to jail officials.
After hearing the bulletin, Lindquist asked the warden if he could make a telephone call, the clergyman said. He called his wife.
The Rev. John Erwin said he was told Lindquist "was quite broken up" after hearing of the death.
Sister Injured, Too
His mother, Irene, had been barred by Family Court order from visiting her son. Her other four children had been taken from her to be placed in foster homes by order of the same court.
The other children were removed from the family's apartment at 4729 W. Erie St. by youth officers Aug. 14 after Johnny's 2-year-old sister, Julia, fell from a second story window while Mrs. Lindquist was reportedly sleeping. A hearing on their custody is scheduled today in Family Court.
Johnny had lived with the Karvaneks on their farm in Tigerton, Wis., for three years before the state and Catholic Charities took him from them and returned him to his natural parents last March 28.
A spokesman for Catholic Charities said earlier that Johnny was returned to his natural parents after "diligent efforts were made" to rehabilitate them. He reportedly had been placed with the Karvaneks after an earlier beating.
Sets Off Furor
Disclosure of the action and subsequent beating touched off a furor involving Catholic Charities, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, and Family Court. General Assembly members called for a special legislative investigation of child care problems in the state, and Gov. Ogilvie announced he will cooperate in the investigation.
A spokesman for St. Anne's said an autopsy would have to be performed on Johnny to determine the cause of death.