More questions than answers

  • Written by Bob Rakow


Couple that discovered Brittany’s body shares horrific details with family

 When Adam Wilczek approachedBrit picAgnes Smyk and Adam Wilczek, left photo, share graphic details with Mike and Rebecca Tully, right photo, about discovering the body of Rebecca’s daughter, Brittany Wawrzyniak, during an emotional meeting Saturday. Photos by Bob Rakow. Brittany Wawrzyniak’s body the night of Nov. 8, he feared that the 18-year-old Worth girl was dead. “I put my hand on her chest. I didn’t feel it moving up and down. I couldn’t feel a heartbeat,” Wilczek said. “When I lifted her head, that’s when I saw a pool of blood.” Wilczek’s girlfriend, Agnes Smyk, approached Wawrzyniak’s body moments later and also worried that Wawrzyniak was dead. “I got nervous. I didn’t know what to do. I panicked a little. When I leaned over to touch her, she was so cold and so stiff,” said Smyk, who works as a medical assistant. “A body doesn’t get that cold or that stiff immediately after passing away. There was a massive pool of blood behind her head.” Wilczek and Smyk, of Burbank, shared those horrific details Saturday morning with Wawrzyniak’s mother, Rebecca Tully, at an emotional meeting also attended by several other family members. The two-hour gathering was held at the Hickory Hills -- home of Wawrzyniak’s grandparents. This was the first time Tully met the couple who stayed with her daughter in the parking lot of the Worth boat launch the night that she died. The get-together ran the gamut of emotions from sorrow over Wawrzyniak’s death to anger at the Worth police for failing to investigate in a more aggressive fashion. The Worth police last week confirmed that there were no drugs in Wawrzyniak’s system the night that she was died, the family said. But Tully remains critical of the way the police have handled the case. “I had to question them. They didn’t offer that information,” Tully said. “They didn’t even tell me the cause of death.” The Worth police have declined comment throughout the investigation. Smyk said she wants to do everything possible to help Tully get justice for her daughter. “I just want to be helpful and get justice for her as much as possible because a police department that’s supposed to serve and protect is not doing that and causing her more pain and grief. I’m willing to help with anything,” Smyk said. She added the images of that fateful night have remained with her. “You don’t forget something like this. I relive this and dream about it almost every night,” she said. “I wish I would have done more. I wish I would have recorded it. I posted on Brittany’s site on Facebook because I wanted to let it known that I was there and what I saw. I was so stunned that there was no contact from the cops. No one was asking us anything.” But Tully and her husband, Mike, are grateful for the information Wilczek and Smyk have provided. “This is more answers that I’ve (ever) gotten about that moment,” Rebecca Tully said. Wilczek and Smyk arrived at the boat launch at about 8 p.m. to walk their dogs. The Burbank couple is familiar with the area because Wilczek owns a boat, he said. The couple spotted a group of teenage girls in the parking lot that appeared to be looking for something on the ground, Wilczek said. A teenage boy approached their car and “starts feeding me a story,” Wilczek said. Only one of the seven girls in the parking lot was kneeling next to Wawrzyniak. “She was more in a panic, like ‘Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God,’” Smyk said. The other girls on the scene did not appear shaken by the tragedy. “There was no sign or remorse,” Smyk said. “There was nobody crying.” “I was holding her hand,” said Wilczek, who knelt at Wawrzyniak’s side for about three minutes until police and paramedics arrived, he said. The information the Burbank couple offered Wawrzyniak’s family answers some questions but raises many others. For example, how long was Wawrzyniak’s lying in the boat launch parking lot before Wilczek and Smyk arrived and exactly how did she sustain the injuries that led to her death? And, if the couple had not arrived, how long would she have remained in the parking lot before someone called 911? Finally, why have the Worth police never interviewed Wilczek and Smyk? Wawrzyniak’s family believes she faked a drug buy at the boat launch to arrange a fight between a friend and another girl. “From what we understand, she walked up to the car and said, ‘come out’ and they said, ‘no, you get in,’ and I think she didn’t know what to do,” Tully said. She added that her daughter “was willing to do anything” so that people would like her. Prosecutors have said Wawrzyniak, 18, died after she was ejected from the backseat of an alleged drug dealer’s car after buying pills from him. They said she met Eric Steven Johnson at the boat launch near 115th Street and Beloit Avenue, got into the backseat of his car and handed him $200 in exchange for 30 pills of Clonazepam. The prescription drug is used to treat panic and seizure disorders, according to medical experts. Wawrzyniak began counting the pills while still in the backseat as Johnson drove away. She opened the door of the moving car, was ejected and struck the pavement, prosecutors said. She was pronounced dead at Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn less than one hour later. But some of the facts don’t add up for Wilczek. “You would think someone coming out of a warm car would be a warmer to the touch,” Wilczek added. “She didn’t have her jacket on at the time, which, now that I think about it, struck me as odd.” And, Smyk said there was nothing in Wawrzyniak’s hands when she approached the girl. Worth police, however, told Tully that her daughter had pills in her hands when they arrived, she said. “I promise you 100 percent that there were no pills in her hands,” Smyk said. Johnson, of Peotone, was ordered held on $300,000 bond. He is charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance.