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Crime & Courts

DeKalb man charged in murder of 19-year-old girlfriend

Police found victim's body hidden in a closet

Michael Kulpin (inset), 20, was arrested Sunday night after police found the body of his girlfriend, Moorea Desroches, 19, hidden in the bedroom closet of her apartment at 906 Kimberly Drive in DeKalb.
Michael Kulpin (inset), 20, was arrested Sunday night after police found the body of his girlfriend, Moorea Desroches, 19, hidden in the bedroom closet of her apartment at 906 Kimberly Drive in DeKalb.

DeKALB – A DeKalb man has been charged with beating and stabbing his 19-year-old girlfriend to death and then hiding her body in a closet for more than a day.

Michael G. Kulpin, 20, of the 900 block of Kimberly Drive, was charged Sunday with two counts of first-degree murder, aggravated domestic battery and concealment of a homicide. Police say Kulpin beat and repeatedly stabbed Moorea Desroches, 19, inside their apartment, during an argument late Friday into early Saturday.

Kulpin hid her body in a bedroom closet, covering it with blankets and pillows, police said.

Desroches is from Campton Hills, near St. Charles, and she and Kulpin have a child together. On her Facebook page, she described herself as a graduate of St. Charles North High School, and engaged.

DeKalb Police Department Deputy Chief John Petragallo said Monday he didn't know if the child was in the apartment at the time of the crime. He said family members were caring for the child.

The victim's mother called DeKalb Police on Sunday saying she was concerned because Moorea had not gone to work the past couple of days. The mother also said she hadn't been able to get in touch with her daughter, the release said.

Officers went to Moorea's apartment, where they found Kulpin with two other people. Officers discovered Moorea's body in a bedroom closet at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, the release said.

Investigators found evidence of the crime inside the apartment and in a nearby trash bin.

Kulpin is being held at the DeKalb County Jail on $2 million bond.

The two other people at the apartment were not charged. Petragallo described them as adults, but declined to comment further about what they were doing in the apartment or why they were there, citing the pending criminal charges against Kulpin.

Kulpin had been found guilty of domestic battery against Moorea Desroches in the past, Kane County court records show. He pleaded guilty in July 2015 to misdemeanor resisting police and misdemeanor domestic battery. Kane County Judge John Noverini sentenced Kulpin to 12-months of non-reporting probation, records show.

Kulpin was due to appear in court in July on charges he had violated his probation in connection with that case. He allegedly violated terms of his probation after being charged in February with driving on a suspended license in DeKalb County, court records show. He had attended 13 of 26 domestic violence classes that were required as terms of his probation, according to Kane County records.

A Susan Desroches who lived at the same Kane County address as Moorea Desroches also sought an order of protection against Kulpin in 2014. That civil order of protection was modified in June 2015; it didn't include Moorea Desroches, records show.

Domestic violence is all too common, even among teens and young couples, said Sarah Slavenas, prevention coordinator at Safe Passage, a nonprofit that works to reduce or prevent domestic violence and sexual assault in DeKalb County. She pointed to research that shows up to one third of girls in the U.S. are victims of physical, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner.

Break-up violence also is common. Some studies have shown that domestic violence victims are most likely to be killed by a partner at the end of a relationship or within a year of the relationship ending, Slavenas said. She added that other research shows that abusers who start at a young age are more likely to become more violent over time. Early intervention is vital to prevention efforts, she said.

Safe Passage offers a 24-hour hot line (815-756-5228) for victims of domestic violence. Family members of victims also can use the hot line, Slavenas said.

Safe Passage also helps victims create emergency safety plans, provides emergency shelter, help with legal protections and counseling.

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