Decapitated Body, Explosive Device Found Near Nichols Middle School, Greenleaf Street, Evanston

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View of tennis courts near Fitzsimmons Park near crime scene with Nichols Elementary School in the background.

Evanston police responded about 5:15 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a decapitated male body in a field in the 800 block of Greenleaf Street, Evanston. Police discovered an explosive device near the body, which was shirtless with legs folded posteriorly, near tennis courts between a fence and a pine tree in the field near Nichols Elementary School. A plastic jug and a shopping bag were also discovered near the scene. Some residents were evacuated from their homes and media and onlookers were pushed back from the scene about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday near Elmwood Avenue, Lee Street, and Sherman Avenue.

The police are investigating the case as a possible suicide, but no word on whether a homicide or another type of incident has been ruled out.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad was on the scene. A police-controlled detonation of the explosive device occurred about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday morning after the discovery.

Police were called earlier to the same area after neighbors heard and explosion just before 3:50 a.m. Tuesday. Police searched the area with flashlights, but did not find that body at the earlier time period.

Evanston District 65 Nichols Elementary School was closed because of the incident and investigation.

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