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Brothers In Custody For Questioning After They Reveal Mother, Sister Are Buried In Lyons Backyard; 2 Bodies Recovered

By Meredith Barack, Mugo Odigwe, and Asal Rezaei

LYONS, Ill. (CBS) -- Police in west suburban Lyons are conducting a homicide investigation, after two brothers revealed they buried their mother and sister in their backyard.

Lyons police, fire and rescue crews, and archaeologists began excavating on Saturday morning and found two bodies found buried in separate containers that were buried just about a foot below the ground.

The brothers have now been taken into custody. Police said they were taken to the hospital for mental and physical evaluations before their arrests.

Lyons police said the brothers had told them: "Mom's buried in the backyard. We buried my sister in the backyard."

Lyons police arrested the brothers Saturday afternoon. Police said the two men are not being charged at this time, but have been taken in for further questioning.

Police told CBS 2's Asal Rezaei on Saturday that the conditions of the bodies police recovered do, in fact, match the timeline of events provided by the brothers.

"We're going through the house to see what type of evidentiary value we can get out of the house," said Lyons police Chief Thomas Herion, "that either, whether this was a natural causes death, whether this was a homicide, or whatever it is – hopefully, we're going to come up with some type of evidence."

Authorities said the brothers had been living in the home, now deemed uninhabitable, without running water, gas and limited electricity for some time.

"It was discovered to have a massive amount of hoarding going on, I never saw such deplorable living conditions in my life, and I've been doing this a long time," Herion said.

One of the brothers told police that six years ago, their mother, in her late 70s, was pushed down the stairs by their sister and died shortly afterwards. The brothers also explained what happened to their sister who was in her 40s.

Police said one of the brothers told them: "My sister came down with a sickness, an illness, we couldn't take care of her any longer and she subsequently died in 2019."

Police said the two men have been very cooperative - recalling dates, times and locations.

CBS 2's Mugo Odigwe reported the Village of Lyons Water Department called police just after 11:30 a.m. Thursday for a well-being check, because two brothers who live in the 3900 block of Center Avenue have not used water for more than a year.

When officers arrived, they asked the older brother where his mother and sister were, because neighbors told police a mother and sister once lived in the house, but they hadn't seen them.

That brothers told police his sister, who he claims was mentally ill, pushed their mother down the stairs in 2015, and sometime after that, his mother had a stroke and died.

The brothers buried her in the backyard. Then in 2019, that brother said his sister got sick and died. She also was buried in the backyard.

"He indicated that they didn't know what to do. It was a financial situation, and he just chose the best angle was to just bury them in the backyard," Herion said.

Police said the brothers came forward with the information after finding out the house could possibly be condemned.

Police said they are treating the discoveries as a homicide, but the brothers, again, have not yet have not been charged.

"It's a felony to conceal a death in the state of Illinois, and it's a class 3 felony, I believe, to conceal a homicide; if it's determined to be a homicide," Herion said.

Police said the Cook County State's Attorney's office will be reviewing the evidence gathered at the scene and determine charges in the coming days.

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