Crime & Courts

Awaiting murder trial, Algonquin eye doctor dies of COVID-19

After stabbing death, police reopened investigation into the death of Anthony Prate’s wife eight years earlier, but no charges resulted

Inset of Anthony Prate. Traffic is seen near on Pyott Road north of Willow Street on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Lake in the Hills. A car crash happened near this location in 2011, after which Bridget Prate was pronounced dead on arrival at an Elgin hospital.

Amanda Marrazzo, a reporter with more than 25 years of experience, spent years reporting on this case, reviewing hundreds of documents, including police reports and autopsies, and interviewing dozens of people connected to the case.

Malgorzata “Margaret” Daniel photographed in an undated family photo.
Malgorzata “Margaret” Daniel is photographed in 2018 at the Chicago Botanic Garden.
Bridge Prate holds the son of her longtime best friend Lisa Knecht-Sabres on March 15, 1998.
A Lake in the Hills Police Department photo shows a Nissan Murano following a March 1, 2011, crash. Anthony Prate had been driving the Murano at the time of the crash, and his wife, Bridget Prate, was pronounced dead on arrival at an Elgin hospital.
A Lake in the Hills Police Department photo shows a Nissan Murano following a March 1, 2011, crash. Anthony Prate had been driving the Murano at the time of the crash, and his wife, Bridget Prate, was pronounced dead on arrival at an Elgin hospital.
Traffic is seen near the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry on Pyott Road on Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, in Lake in the Hills.  A car crash happened near this location in 2011, after which Bridget Prate was pronounced dead on arrival at an Elgin hospital.
Dr. Mark Witeck, the Kane County forensic pathologist who examined Bridget Prate’s body, told Lake in the Hills Police Officer Dennis Ludtke, who filed this May 2011 report, that he thought Bridge Prate was dead before the crash. Highlight added.
Dr. Larry Blum, who conducted the second autopsy of Bridget Prate, told Lake in the Hills police officer Mark Mogan in February 2012 that while he found "no clear cause of death," he thinks she died as a result of the crash, either due to asphyxiation or concussion to her spinal cord. Highlight added.