Detective's Knack for Interviewing Earns Award

Article excerpt

Byline: Christine Tatum Daily Herald Staff Writer

When someone left an infant girl in a trash bin behind the Hoffman Estates Medical Center, police Detective Mark Petrovich scrambled like everyone else to find out who did it.

Despite the long hours, he had little to go on. No fingerprints on the trash bag in which the girl was found. No witnesses. No clear motive.

Petrovich followed one promising lead, but it got him nowhere.

"We spent a couple of days looking at the wrong person," he said of the October investigation. "It turned out to be a wild goose chase. But then we got a break.

"Basically, we were lucky."

Luck may have helped Petrovich develop a suspect, but it was skill that prompted a confession that led to charges against Germaine Hovland, the girl's mother, Hoffman Estates Police Department officials say. That's why they've named the 10-year veteran Officer of the Year.

"You might have somebody come in here and say 'I think so-and-so committed this crime,' but that's only one side of the story, and it's a long way from building a solid case," said Lt. …