Search warrant served at Lyons home where bodies found in yard
LYONS, Ill. - Investigators executed a search warrant Wednesday at the Lyons home where two bodies were found buried in the backyard in late August.
About 20 people dressed in hazmat suits from the Lyons Police Department and West Suburban Major Crimes Task Force are going through what's been described as deplorable living conditions, looking for evidence that could lead to the cause of death of the bodies.
"We're looking for financial records. We're looking for documents. We're also looking for any type of forensic evidence that could lead to foul play - whether that be blood, whether that be any type of bodily fluids or anything of that fashion that would lead or add some type of credence to whether this was a homicide or whether it's natural causes," said Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion.
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After being called to the home at 3950 Center Avenue for a well-being check on Aug. 26, they found brothers Michael Lelko, 45, and John Lelko, 41, living in squalor, with no water, electricity or gas service.
While talking to the brothers, Herion learned they had buried their mother and sister in the backyard after their deaths in 2015 and 2019.
Days later, police dug up the backyard with the help of archaeologists and found the bodies, but the medical examiner has yet to identify them or their exact cause of death.
The two brothers were arrested on Aug. 28, but have since been released from police custody and are now being housed through social services.
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Lyons police say the brothers told them that in 2015, their sister pushed their mother, who was in her late 70s, down the stairs of their home, causing "some type of head contusion." Police say that incident resulted in her death.
Herion said neighbors had been told that the mom was in a mental institution, so no one was worried about her location.
The brothers also told police that in 2019, the sister fell ill and died. There is no record of either death with the state.
The brothers told FOX 32 that they buried their relatives in the backyard because they could not afford a funeral.
Police say the brothers are considered suspects and face potential felony charges for concealment of a death or concealment of a homicide, but no charges have been filed yet.
"He admitted to burying them in the backyard," said Herion. "Concealment of a death is a felony in Illinois. If it turns out it’s a homicide, homicide is a more serious offense."
Lyons police said they have been to the home several times in the past for disturbance calls, but said none of the calls were "earth-shattering."
Herion expects crews to continue work on the property through Friday and hopes to have more information about the investigation by then.