Police search for home invasion suspect who broke in while famil - KMOV.com

Family friend and caretaker fights off intruder during home invasion

Police search for home invasion suspect who broke in while family was inside

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Melissa Winkeler speaks with News 4 about finding an intruder in her home ( Credit : KMOV) Melissa Winkeler speaks with News 4 about finding an intruder in her home ( Credit : KMOV)

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. (KMOV.com)-  A Fairview Heights family is shaken up after finding an intruder inside their home while they were inside about to have dinner.

Melissa Winkeler still can’t believe it all happened.

“All those ‘what if’s ‘really hit me today,” she said.

She and her husband were sitting in the living room accompanied by her husband’s caretaker and family friend, when they heard a strange noise.

“Like the door opening down there,” she said, referring to the basement, “which never happens.”

While she called police, Scott Kish went downstairs to check on the noise.

He found a man, about 5’10, 220 lbs, with a dark beard, wearing a black hoodie staring right back at him. Kish told the man to leave, instead, the man lunged straight toward him, hitting him with an object Kish thinks could have been a gun.

Kish managed to push the intruder back into a refrigerator, knocking him down, before the man got away.

 “You always think ‘What would you do?’ and I can tell you by experience now that you don’t think,” said Kish, “you just act.”

Police arrived within minutes, but by then the man had gotten away. Winkeler thinks he got in through an unlocked door in the basement.

It’s the sort of neighborhood where everyone knows everyone and she often leaves the doors unlocked to let her more than a dozen grandchildren and other family members easily get in and out.

“Whoever keeps their door unlocked, just lock them,” said Kish, “just to be cautious.”

Police continue to patrol the area and ask anyone with information regarding the case to contact them. Winkeler and Kish are thankful things didn’t turn out differently.

 “What if he got upstairs?” said Winkeler, “what if Scott wasn’t here? What if something happened to my husband?”

Kish gives all the credit for his quick action to God.

“I know if it wasn’t for him,” he said, “the guy, I think he had a gun in his hands, the guy could have killed me and could have killed Wayne or Melissa.” 

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