Brothers Face Charges After Remains of Mother, Sister Found in Yard of Lyons Home Last Summer

Police were initially called to the home last August after the local water department noted water had not been used in the home in over a year

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Two brothers who told authorities their mother and sister were buried in a suburban Lyons backyard are now facing charges in connection with their deaths, authorities announced Thursday.

According to police, Michael and John Lelko are currently in custody and facing several charges in connection with the case, which began last summer when human remains were found in the yard of a house that the two brothers were living in.

Michael Lelko is facing charges of concealment of a death, and is expected to face federal charges in connection to Social Security checks, which the brothers allegedly continued to cash even after their mother died in 2015.

John Lelko is also potentially facing charges.

Police had originally been called to the home in Lyons Township in Aug. 2021 after the local water department reported that the home had no running water for more than a year and initiated a well-being check.

Upon arrival, police discovered the home "was filled from floor to ceiling with boxes and papers" and a number of other items. Feces was "all over" the residence, and there were no working toilets.

When Michael Lelko was interviewed by police, he told officers that his mother had died in 2015, and that the brothers had buried her in a container in the backyard. He also told officers that his sister Jennifer had died in 2019, and that her remains were in the yard as well.

The brothers informed police that their sister pushed their mother, who was in her late 70s, down the stairs of the home in 2015, causing some type of "head contusion" that resulted in her death, Lyons Police Chief Tom Herion said. Their sister, the brothers said, fell ill and died in 2019.

Michael then identified where the bodies were buried, and officers exhumed the remains and sent them to the coroner's office for identification.

According to officials, that process took several months, with DNA samples taken from the brothers matching that of both victims in the case.

Authorities were not able to determine a cause of death, according to officials.

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