The identity of a man found dead in a wooded area southeast of Palatine Road and Route 53 was released Monday, October 31, 2022 after his body was found just before 12:45 a.m. Saturday, October 29, 2022. Aaron Blanchard, age 49, was found dead under a pile of leaves by two teens. A witness on Saturday described police activity just before 1:00 a.m. in a wooded area between Yale Avenue and the curve where Palatine Frontage Road becomes Wilke Road behind the houses on the west side of Yale Avenue.
Police from Arlington Heights were on the scene about 12:45 a.m. Saturday, October 29, 2022 after a body was found west of the block of 1800 North Yale Avenue in Arlington Heights. The body of Aaron Blanchard was found outdoors in a wooded area just to the west of Yale Avenue south of Palatine Road. Two teens were walking through the wooded area when they discovered the body in a pile of leaves. A lot of brush and trees, and even several rose bushes, are located on the vacant property, which has a few faded no trespassing signs.
One teen called 911, and another teen called his parents, who called 911 as well, according to Arlington Heights Police Chief Nicholas Pecora.
Police requested paramedics respond to the scene to pronounce the victim dead. Police officers assessed that Blanchard had only been deceased at the location a couple days, or within six days, preceding the discovery of his body.
There was a tent made of a blue tarp on the property near where the deceased was discovered. Also nearby was a campsite in a secluded area of trees and brush. Along with beer cans and other beverage cans, a bicycle, a black chair, and personal belongings were discovered near the campsite, which was near a vacant metal barn on the property. There was also a can of Stihl Motomix Premix fuel for 2-cycle engines near the campsite. There was no reference in the police report estimating the length of time that Blanchard may have been living at the site, according to Arlington Heights Police Chief Pecora.
No foul play is suspected, although the cause of death was not yet determined this past week. The investigation could continue if there are other findings from the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Police Chief Nicholas Pecora said there was no evidence of drug use at the scene. No needles were discovered. The Arlington Heights Police Department spoke with one of Blanchard’s family members, and learned that there were some homeless issues with Aaron Blanchard.
There are resources and referrals available through the Arlington Heights Police Department or the Village’s Health and Human Services Department, Social Service section. Those services would have been activated if the police department or the Village of Arlington Heights was aware of the homeless camp on the vacant property.
Initially, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that the dead man was a 49 year-old male/white from Crystal Lake. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office described the incident address as located in the block of 1500 West Palatine Road in Arlington Heights.
Since there was no extended police investigation, it was assumed early that no foul play was indicated in the death investigation overnight.
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