Two Bodies Found in Lyons Backyard After Man Tells Police His Mom and Sister Were Buried There

Two bodies were found buried two separate containers in the backyard. The brothers are in custody for questioning, but have not been charged with anything. CBS 2’s Asal Rezaei reports. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Lyons police responded to a well-being check on Thursday, August 26, 2021 after a report from a neighbor that a male crawled out a window at 3950 Center Avenue in Lyons.




When police arrived at the house, they discovered Michael Lelko, 45, and John Lelko, 41, living in the house in squalor and hoarding conditions with no water, electricity or gas service. Police entered the home in hazmat suits, and removed two dogs from the house. John Lelko was found living upstairs in ill health. Both men were transported to a hospital for physical and mental assessment.

While talking to one of the brothers, Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion learned that his mother, Jean, and sister, Jennifer, were buried in the backyard after their deaths in 2015 and 2019. The brothers also said they buried several animals in the backyard. Police brought in archaeologists and evidence technicians to dig in the yard and search the house for evidence.

Two bodies were recovered from a long, narrow backyard in Lyons Saturday morning August 28, 2021, which Lyons police confirmed Saturday afternoon. The two brothers who lived in the home were taken into custody.




Police learned that the brothers’ mother died in 2015 — possibly involving an accident with their mentally ill sister, Jennifer. Then their sister died in 2019 of COVID-19, according to the brothers. However, COVID-19 deaths were unknown in the United States until early 2020.

Lyons police said the brothers told them they buried the bodies in the backyard due to fears of COVID-19 and because they didn’t have money to pay for the funeral costs. Burying a body is not illegal in Illinois, but concealing a death or homicide is illegal. There are no records of deaths from the address, according to police. The bodies were being transported to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Police said they did not yet determine whether a homicide occurred, and that the medical examiner’s investigation could take up to 90 days. The death investigation is conducted as a homicide investigation, but initially neither of the brothers were considered homicide suspects.




Police Chief Thomas Herion said that neighbors had been told that Jean was in a mental institution, and there had been no concern about her location or well-being.

Lyons Police recorded a history of several disturbance calls at the address, but nothing significant, according to police.

The lots on the block, just south of Ogden Avenue, are long with a narrow frontage on the street. The lot is about 275 feet long from Center Avenue to a rear alley with less than 50 feet street frontage on Center Avenue.

House at 3950 Center Avenue in Lyons (Image capture July 2018 ©2021)
House at 3950 Center Avenue in Lyons (Image capture July 2018 ©2021).
Backyard at 3950 Center Avenue in Lyons (Image capture October 2019 ©2021 Google)
Backyard at 3950 Center Avenue in Lyons (Image capture October 2019 ©2021 Google).

Two brothers were taken into custody after two bodies were found in a backyard of a home in southwest suburban Lyons. YouTube Tips ⓘ

Human remains were found beneath a Lyons home Saturday after two brothers admitted to burying their mother and sister beneath the home. They were taken into custody. YouTube Tips ⓘ

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