Two hamster brothers have been arrested in Illinois after police found two bodies the men said belonged to their sister and mother in the backyard of their filthy home.
The brothers told police that their sister, 44, accidentally killed their mother in 2015 and that she herself died of COVID-19 in 2019, despite the first cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the US not being reported until January 2020. .
Michael Lelko, 45, and John Lelko, 41, identified themselves as the brothers in an interview with WFLD before they were reportedly arrested. They have not been officially named by the police, as charges are still pending against them.
The Lelko brothers were taken into custody on Saturday after the bodies were recovered in the backyard. WLS reported. The brothers have yet to be listed in custody in the Cook County Prison Records.
Brothers Michael and John Lelko speak to reporters outside their home in Lyon, Illinois
The Lelko brothers were taken into custody on Saturday after the bodies were recovered from the backyard
Police said the brothers had alleged that their sister, who had a mental illness, pushed their mother, who was in her 70s, down the stairs and she eventually died of a stroke, according to police. WGN.
The brothers said they buried their mother in the backyard, along with the bodies of several animals that had died at home because they couldn’t afford the funeral costs, WFLD reported.
When their sister died in 2019, the brothers also reportedly buried her in the backyard due to funeral expenses and fears of COVID-19.
The state of Illinois has no records of those deaths.
Autopsies on the bodies were expected to be performed Sunday, and investigators will use DNA to determine if the bodies belong to Lelko’s sister and mother, the paper said.
DailyMail.com has contacted the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office for results of the autopsies.
Lyon’s police chief Thomas Herion said at a news conference on Saturday that the circumstances of the two bodies indicated that the deaths of the two bodies took place in 2015 and 2019.
He said the brothers may be telling the truth about how their sister and brother died, but investigators are treating the case as a murder investigation for now.
The inside of the brothers’ house is depicted. The brothers had to leave their house through a window because of the clutter inside that blocked the doors
Police found that the house was full of rubbish and debris from top to bottom, including bottles of urine, feces everywhere, and no running water or working toilets
Several cats and dogs were found running around the property
Lyon police officers were called to the house on the 3900 block of Center Avenue on Thursday to conduct a welfare check on the brothers after the water company reported that no water had been used in the house for years.
Police found the house packed from top to bottom with rubbish and debris, including bottles of urine, smeared feces everywhere and no working toilets.
Several cats and dogs were found running around the property, which were taken in by the local Humane Society.
“It was several gallons of urine,” Herion told WLS. “Every room, the front door, the back door were completely barricaded with debris, boxes.”
The brothers, who were said to have physical and mental health problems, had to leave their home through a window because of the clutter inside blocking the doors.
Before their arrest, the brothers had been taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for medical treatment where they underwent mental health evaluations, Herion said.
They were later discharged and placed in a hotel, but walked to their home, still dressed in blue hospital gowns, to speak with reporters after seeing television news reports of the impending dig in their backyard.
Law enforcement officers stand next to a house along Center Avenue in Lyons, Illinois, where authorities believe they found bodies in the backyard on Saturday
Tents are being set up outside Lelko’s residence in preparation for Friday’s dig in search of the human remains
Police were called to the house on the 3900 block of South Center Avenue in Lyon for a welfare check after one of the Lelko brothers had not been seen for some time
Police said they found the residence full of trash and bottles of urine; it had no running water or working toilets
Neighbor Martha Aranda Castaneda told WFLD she hadn’t seen one of the Lelkos in over a year.
“That’s the first time I saw him when…” [police] got him out,” she said.
She added to WLS: ‘I just hope they get the help they need, clearly something isn’t right.’
Neighbor Brian King called the mother of the two brothers a “hardworking lady” who took care of her three children.
“We’ve known for a while that something is going on. I feel sorry for the people because there are, if you want to say, medical problems for the boys,” King said.
Herion said police have enlisted the help of expert crews, including an archaeologist, to sift through the dirt outside the house and comb through the house looking for evidence.