A human arm washed up on the shoreline of a popular North Side beach Tuesday less than a month after the remains of a missing Elgin woman were found in a nearby lagoon.
Chicago police were conducting a death investigation after the limb was found in the 500 block of West Lawrence Avenue near Montrose Beach, police said. The arm was sent to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office where it will undergo DNA testing, officials said.
Becky Schlikerman, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office, said the limb could not be confirmed as human remains until further testing scheduled to begin Wednesday, but police said it was a human arm.
The torso and parts of two legs belonging to 76-year-old Gail Peck were recovered from the Lincoln Park Lagoon on Oct. 28.
Brian Peck, 55, Gail’s son, has been charged with her murder and concealment of a homicidal death.
Elgin police Cmdr. Colin Fleury said he could not confirm whether or not the remains found Tuesday were that of Gail Peck, but that authorities had been searching the same area in relation to the case.
“We really would like to collect the rest of her remains,” he said. “For peace of mind, for the family, for probably anyone that goes in the water there, we really want to find her remains.”
Fleury said it could take a few weeks for the arm to be identified. Schlikerman said she did not know how long it might take until the DNA testing is completed.
He said the investigation is ongoing but stressed that the more remains being found wouldn’t necessarily impact the criminal case against Peck.
“If we find them or if we don’t, it doesn’t change the charges, so we have our charges regardless,” he said.
Fleury said the Peck investigation was the only dismemberment case he has worked in his career of 23 years.
Prosecutors say Peck killed his mother after she complained he was playing Jimi Hendrix music too loud.
Peck allegedly told authorities his mother produced a "military-style knife" before he knocked her legs out from underneath her and "stomped on her head and neck."
He then put her body in the bathtub and severed it with the hand saw police say they found inside the duffel bag with her body, according to prosecutors.
He allegedly told officials he put his mother's head and arms in garbage bags and later threw them into Lake Michigan.
Peck was ordered held without bail. A Cook County judge called him "an extreme threat to the public."
He is due back in court Nov. 17.