Mom, roommates sought protection from accused Naperville killer

<p>Grant Muren / photo from DuPage County State's Attorney's office</p>

Grant Muren / photo from DuPage County State's Attorney's office

Grant V. Muren apparently led a nomadic existence, starting at the age of 16.

Muren, now 21, is accused of killing Naperville resident Charles Clark last week inside his townhouse. Between the spring of 2008 and last summer, Muren apparently lived first with relatives or guardians in St. Charles and then with his mother in San Diego before returning to St. Charles, where living arrangements with new roommates ended unhappily.

The Sun on Tuesday examined documents on file in Kane County Circuit Court in St. Charles and the Court of San Diego. Those records showed Muren was the subject of a domestic violence complaint and two orders of protection over that five-year period.

Online searches yielded little information about Muren’s childhood or young adulthood. A resume posting claimed he graduated in 2011 from San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, Calif., and was most recently a freshman at Santa Barbara City College, also in California.

Prior to that, Muren apparently lived with or was a guest of his parents or guardians at a home on Brownstone Drive, just west of the Fox River in St. Charles. A man living at that address and believed to be a relative of Muren’s on June 12, 2008 obtained an emergency order of protection in Kane County court against Muren, then a month away from turning 16.

Court records revealed the order applied to both the Brownstone Drive address and the campus of Geneva Community High School, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva. It was not immediately known how the high school figured in the filing.

The court file did not indicate why the order had been sought. The order remained in effect until June 12, 2010, according to records.

Muren’s mother, Danita J. Muren, on Sept. 19, 2008 filed a “domestic violence” complaint against her son in the San Diego court system. Details of that matter, including whether it had been resolved or remains open, were not provided on the court’s website.

Muren found himself in trouble again last summer, when he was arrested by St. Charles police and charged with violating an order of protection, resisting or obstructing police and illegal consumption of alcohol.

Kane County court records alleged Muren had been drinking on July 10 when he went to a house on South Elm Street in St. Charles that is divided into apartments. One of the people living there apparently called police after noting Muren in the area.

A 30-year-old man who declined to be identified told The Sun on Tuesday he had known Muren for “a short period of time,” after Muren became one of his roommates in one of the apartments. Muren later demonstrated “he wasn’t the right fit for the house, and he was asked to move out,” the man said.

Muren refused to leave, and the man had to obtain an order of protection, in an effort to force him to move. Muren pushed and struggled with two police officers on the day of his arrest, court records showed.

A judge the next day found “no probable cause” to charge Muren with violating the order of protection and dismissed that charge, records indicated.

Another judge on Aug. 23 accepted Muren’s plea of guilty to a misdemeanor charge of resisting a police officer. Muren that day was sentenced to two days in jail, ordered not to return to the Elm Street address and placed on a year of conditional discharge, a form of probation, records revealed.

Muren’s former roommate did not know of his arrest for murder until informed of it by a Sun reporter. He said while he did not know Muren well, he caused “no trouble” at the house and never appeared to be violent. The man declined to comment further.

Naperville police on Friday arrested Muren in the death of Clark, a 55-year-old computer technician. The alleged slaying occurred inside Clark’s townhouse on Vail Court, in the Estes Park area of the west-central part of the city.

DuPage County state’s attorney’s office prosecutors on Saturday said Clark turned to the Internet website Craigslist in search of someone to share his home and its expenses.

Authorities contend Muren responded to the ad. The two men allegedly spent less than eight hours in the townhouse before Muren strangled Clark, burned their lease agreement in the kitchen, turned on the stove burners and oven and then fled.

Police were called Jan. 22 to the townhouse by Clark’s girlfriend, who discovered his body. She told police she had not heard from Clark for several days and let herself inside with a key he had given her.

The charred lease agreement made Muren the focus of the police investigation. Prosecutors said he gave detectives varying accounts of what had happened before confessing to Clark’s killing.

Muren allegedly told police he and Clark had sex and then got into an argument. The quarrel became physical, with Muren allegedly telling police he hit Clark in the head with a table and then “choked him out” during their 20-minute-long struggle.

A DuPage County coroner’s office autopsy concluded strangulation was the primary cause of Clark’s death. The tip of his right thumb had been bitten off, and at least one fingernail had been torn off during the fight.

Muren, after being arrested, returned to the townhouse with police and allegedly walked and talked them through what happened. He was reportedly able to identify where the struggle took place and where Clark’s body was found.

An attempt Tuesday to reach Danita Muren for comment was unsuccessful. Members of Clark’s family as of Tuesday had not responded to a written note left at his townhouse that requested an interview.

Muren remained Tuesday in DuPage County Jail on $2 million bail. He is scheduled to appear Tuesday in DuPage County Circuit Court to answer felony charges of first-degree murder and concealment of a homicidal death.

Muren, through an official of the DuPage County sheriff’s office, on Tuesday declined a request for an interview that had been made by The Sun.

U-T San Diego contributed to this report.