Law enforcement in north suburban Lake County are investigating after a business owner was found dead in the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve on Saturday, hours after he was involved in a confrontation, according to authorities.
Matthew Ascaridis, 45, was at his Highland Park home along Cliff Road at approximately 1 a.m. when he heard loud noises and people involved in a loud conversation, according to Christopher Covelli, deputy chief of the Lake County Sheriff's Department.
Ascaridis went outside to speak with those creating the noise, and an altercation ensued between him and two others - an 18-year-old man and a 20-year-old man, police said. The 45-year-old father, whose body wasn't found until approximately four hours after the incident, sustained blunt force injuries, according to authorities.
Nicholas Caban, 20, one of those involved in the confrontation, called police while at home several hours after the fight occurred, law enforcement said. After receiving a warrant, officers searched Caban's home and found a semiautomatic pistol with no identifiable serial numbers in his bedroom, police said.
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The firearm in question was not involved in the victim's death, police stated. The 20-year-old was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number and was expected in court Monday for an initial hearing. The third person involved in the altercation, who is 18 years old, remains hospitalized with unspecified injuries, authorities said.
Ascaridis was the owner of Rose Retirement Services in Chicago, which on its website described him as an active member of the community who was a volunteer coach of multiple hockey teams in Winnetka.
"I understand he had two young children," one neighbor told NBC 5, upon learning of his death. "Nobody deserves that."
Police continue to investigate the circumstances of the incident and say additional charges against those involved are possible.