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Lyons, IL police charge Michael Lelko after the bodies of his mother and sister were found buried in the yard of the house last year


LYONS, Ill. (WLS) – Lyon police announced charges on Thursday against a man accused of burying his mother and sister in a garden last year. Charges against his brother are pending.

The bodies were discovered in August after a wellness check at their home in the 3900 block of Center Avenue.

The brothers reportedly told police their mother, who was around 70, was pushed down the stairs by their sister in December 2015 and died the following week from a head injury. The brothers then said their 42-year-old sister fell ill and died in 2019.

“They were completely taped up, wrapped in blankets, placed inside, folded, folded in half and buried in the yard,” Lyon Police Chief Michael Herion said.

Police said the bodies had been dead and buried for years and were too decomposed to determine how they died. But investigators believe the brothers failed to report the deaths so they could continue to collect their mother’s Social Security checks.

Police say Michael Lelko, 47, has been charged with two counts of concealing a death.

His brother is currently in police custody and charges against him are pending, police said.

Herion also said federal investigators told him the two brothers were charged with stealing Social Security benefits paid in their mother’s name after she died. Federal investigators have yet to officially announce these charges.

The investigation began when the water company alerted the police that the water had not been used at the house for years. Gas and electricity consumption had also been minimal.

Upon arrival, the police discovered a serious case of hoarding. The house contained urine-filled pots and piles of belongings throughout the two-story house, as well as several cats and dogs running around the property.

Further charges are expected to be announced by the end of the day, police said.

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