ST. CHARLES – Many people who knew Mark A. Sypien were on edge this week after they learned that he was wanted in connection with the slaying of a man in California and was on the run.
Fears that he would be headed back to Illinois were confirmed Wednesday afternoon. Police said Sypien arrived about 3 p.m. at a home where his parents live in the 3N600 block of Bittersweet Road.
His parents said they barricaded themselves in the basement after Sypien arrived, and then they heard a single gunshot as Sypien shot himself in the head.
Police arrived to find Sypien's body in the front yard, according to a news release from the Kane County Sheriff's Office. He was taken to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva. A source close to the investigation confirmed that Sypien had died Wednesday afternoon.
Sypien, 51, of Dublin, California, previously had lived in DeKalb County, where he had several arrests, including serving half of a 120-day jail sentence in 2017 for violating an order of protection that a victim of domestic violence had secured against him.
He was wanted by police in Danville, California, in connection with the homicide of 76-year-old John Moore. Moore, the father of one of Sypien's ex-girlfriends, had feared that Sypien would attack him or his family.
Moore was shot to death Sunday in a parking lot near his home.
"He is a very volatile sociopath that has been undiagnosed at this point," a woman who had a relationship with Sypien in Elburn from the mid-1990s until the early 2000s told the Daily Chronicle. The Chronicle is not identifying her because she is a victim of domestic violence and feared for her safety.
"He's very manipulative, and right now he snapped and killed one person," the local woman said. "I'm in fear that I could be No. 2. He's threatened me personally, my daughter and other people around this area, and we are all taking this very seriously at this point."
Victim feared for family
Sypien had dated Moore's daughter in the late 2000s, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The relationship ended in 2014, but Moore continued to be concerned that Sypien would return with a violent vengeance.
According to The Mercury News, four years before Moore was killed, he asked a judge for a restraining order, predicting that Sypien would harm him or his family.
"[Sypien's] recent history and past criminal record shows that he has the capacity to be violent and harm women without remorse," Moore wrote. "I believe he has the capacity to be a sociopath."
In an email to his family, Moore shared concerns that Sypien would return to California to harass the Moore family again.
"I believe we need to be more vigilant going forward," Moore wrote.
Moore sent the email after he received a series of profanity-laced messages from Sypien, who said he would "get back in touch ... very soon."
"You honestly can't think I was going to let you destroy ever [sic] aspect of my life and get away with it," Sypien wrote, and in another email to Moore added, "John Moore, the time is now."
Sypien wanted locally
Sypien served 60 days of a 120-day jail sentence in the DeKalb County Jail from October to December 2017, DeKalb County State's Attorney Rick Amato said. Sypien had violated a 2004 order of protection that a domestic violence victim had secured against him, resulting in his jail sentence.
According to court records, Sypien violated that 2004 restraining order in 2013 by speaking to his daughter, saying he "wasn't going to jail, and won't come back to Illinois unless [his daughter's] mom dies."
Sypien had a record littered with domestic battery charges and violation of protective orders in Kane and DeKalb counties, according to court records.
In May, Amato said his office secured another arrest warrant for Sypien, who had violated his parole by not attending a court-mandated partner abuse and prevention program. That DeKalb County warrant was extended nationwide Tuesday, Amato said, based on the Sunday murder charges out of Danville.
Police in DeKalb and Kane counties were on the lookout for Sypien on Wednesday.
In Elburn, where Sypien also once lived, extra officers were posted at two Kaneland School District 302 facilities, keeping an eye out for a "potential person of interest."
DeKalb police had extra patrols in areas where they thought Sypien might go in the city, and DeKalb County Sheriff's deputies were on the lookout for the silver 2003 Ford Escape that Sypien is believed to have used to flee the scene of the crime.