Grayslake police announced today that the teenage boy who was rescued Tuesday August 22, 2017 about 12:34 a.m. from the house fire in the block of 300 Normandy Lane, had been shot in the head, and that his grandmother committed suicide after police questioned her about circumstances Thursday.
Before the grandmother’s death, “a combination of information” led investigators to further interview the victim’s grandmother, according to Grayslake Police Chief Philip Perlini. Grayslake investigators spoke to her at about 2:15 p.m. Thursday August 24, 2017 at the hospital. Police took her statements and gathered her fingerprints and DNA samples.
Police also said that the grandmother, Deborah St. Antoine-Browne, who was the guardian of the male teen, had told another female minor in her care to consume a bottle of prescription medication before the woman committed suicide.
Before her death, the Illinois Department of Children and Family services notified police that Deborah St. Antoine-Browne, had given the other minor, the injured teen’s relative, a bottle of prescription medication and “instructed her to take it all,” according to Grayslake Police Chief Philip Perlini. The female minor relative had only ingested some of the medication, but sought emergency medical help at the hospital.
Police then questioned the grandmother, Deborah St. Antoine-Browne.
“At 4:50 p.m., the Grayslake Police Department was notified by the Cook County Sheriff’s Department that St. Antoine-Browne had committed suicide at the Loyola Hospital parking garage,” Perlini said.
St. Antoine-Browne jumped to her death from a parking garage outside Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where her grandson was being treated, after speaking with investigators Thursday afternoon.
Grayslake Police Investigator Steve Huber said that when the grandmother was interviewed at the hospital, her demeanor “appeared to be normal” and police did not suspect her to be suicidal.
At the time of her death, St. Antoine-Browne was also being investigated in connection to a “unrelated forgery case,” according to Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim.
Perlini said the cause of the fire is still listed as undetermined by the Grayslake Fire Department, but it is believed to have started near a utility lint tray. Authorities have declined to say whether investigators believe the fire was started intentionally.
Earlier this week, police described “strange circumstances” regarding the house fire, but did not elaborate. Today they released that “an investigation immediately ensued, and a .38-caliber pistol was recovered from the home.” Perlini did not identify the shooter, but said there were no suspects from outside the home.
Both minors are now under DCFS care.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” Perlini said. “Understandably, certain information cannot be released.”
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