Two Illinois brothers claim they buried the bodies of their sister and mother in the family’s backyard, police said.
Cops in the Chicago suburb of Lyons launched a homicide investigation Thursday after responding to the home — which is covered in feces and jars of urine, with boxes and papers stacked from floor to ceiling, WLS-TV reported.
“It was multiple liters of urine,” Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion told the station of the two-story hoarder home. “There were no running toilets. Every room, the front door, the back door were completely barricaded with debris, boxes.”
The brothers told investigators during interviews that their mother died in 2015 after being pushed down the stairs by their sister, Herion told the Chicago Tribune.
The brothers claimed their sister died of COVID-19 in 2019, although the virus wasn’t detected in the US until January 2020. State officials had no record of either woman’s death, WLS-TV reported.
Cops responded to the filthy home for a wellness check after getting a request from a Village of Lyons employee, police said in a statement.
“The well-being check has led to a detailed investigation being conducted by the Lyons Police Department and various law enforcement agencies,” cops said. “The investigation may not conclude for multiple days and we ask all residents respectfully allow the investigation to be conducted with no interruption.”
A message seeking additional comment from Herion was not immediately returned Friday afternoon.
Excavation work in the backyard of the home was expected to start Saturday.
“Based on what we’re told, at this point in time, I would be surprised if they’re not there,” the police chief told WLS-TV.
The brothers told investigators they buried the bodies rather than pay associated funeral costs, as well as fears related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a communications consultant for the village told WMAQ.
Several animals were also reportedly buried in the backyard. The version of events offered by the brothers changed several times as they spoke with investigators. The pair had accessed the residence by crawling through a window and kept two dogs and a cat there, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The brothers were being put up at a hotel by town officials as the grisly search continues, but they returned to their home early Friday, according to the Chicago Tribune.
One of them told the newspaper both he and his brother were “mentally stressed” and had been previously harassed by police.
“They’ve done nothing but bother us and give us trouble,” he told the Tribune. “They’ve never given us a fair shake. It’s always been threats from the police.”
The brothers had not been criminally charged as of Friday afternoon, cops said.
“There are no criminal charges at this point because we do not have a body,” Herion told the newspaper. “Until we have a body, we don’t have a crime.”