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1 of 2 Brothers Found Living Alone in Filthy Toy-Packed House Arrested After Backyard Remains Identified as Family

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One of two men found last summer in a filth-strewn home near Chicago last year has been arrested, while police said charges could be pending against his brother, according to The Associated Press.

In August, police found bodies buried in the backyard of a house in Lyons, Illinois, about 15 miles southwest of Chicago. The house in which Michael Lelko, 45, and John Lelko, 41, were living had no running water,  plastic bags of human waste were here and there inside, and “Star Wars” toys were stacked to the ceiling.

The bodies of the Lelkos’ mother and sister were dug up from where the brothers had buried them in the backyard.

Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion said Michael Lelko will face two felony counts of concealment of a death, the AP reported Thursday.

John Lelko could face obstruction charges for telling authorities his mother and sister had gone to live elsewhere when he knew they were dead.

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Federal charges might be filed, Herion said, because the brothers had cashed their mother’s $1,000-per-month Social Security checks after she died.

He said no charges were forthcoming in the deaths of Jean Lelko, 79, or Jennifer Lelko, 44, because it could not be determined how they died.

According to Herion, Michael Lelko said his mother died in 2015 after his sister pushed her down some stairs and that his sister died in 2019.

“When I interviewed Michael, he admitted that he buried his mother and his sister in the yard,” the police chief said. “John did not give any statements pertaining to whether he participated in that.”

Herion said there was a delay in filing charges pending identification of the bodies.

The brothers had been discovered living in squalid conditions last summer after authorities acted upon a referral from the water company, which said water at the house had not been used in years, according to WLS-TV.



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Police found a nightmare.

“It was multiple liters of urine,” Herion said. “There was no running toilets. Every room, the front door, the backdoor were completely barricaded with debris, boxes.”

Several animals were also found on the property.

At the time, the brothers told police the doors to the house were so unstable that they came and went through its windows.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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