Mom accused of murder


Former Rochelle resident allegedly suffocated her 7-year-old son

OREGON — An Oregon woman, formerly of Rochelle, is facing first-degree murder charges in the death of her 7-year-old son.

Sarah L. Safranek, 34, has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder and one count of aggravated battery to a child. Safranek is the mother of the victim, Nathaniel Burton.

On April 21, the Oregon Police Department arrested in the murder of seven-year-old Nathaniel which occurred on Feb. 17 of this year.

Safranek was located at her residence in Oregon and was taken into custody without incident. She was transported to the Ogle County Jail in Oregon, where she is being held on a $2 million bond.

On Feb. 17, 2021, the Oregon Police Department responded to 403 S. 10th St. for a report of a 7-year-old child that was not breathing. The child was transported to KSB Hospital in Dixon where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy was conducted and determined that Nathaniel had died as a result of suffocation.

The police department conducted a thorough investigation that was reviewed by the Ogle County State’s Attorney’s Office, resulting in these charges.

Safranek, who grew up in Rochelle and graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 2005. In October of 2019, Safranek was arrested for DUI on Daysville Road outside of Oregon.

First-degree murder is a Class M felony that is punishable by a sentence of 20 years to natural life in the Illinois Department of Corrections, followed by three years of mandatory supervised release.

Aggravated battery to a child is a Class X Felony that is punishable by a sentence of six to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections followed by three years of mandatory supervised release.

These charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until or unless proven guilty, in a court of law.

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