Two hoarder brothers have been arrested in Illinois after cops found two bodies the men said belong to their sister and mother in the backyard of their filthy home.
The brothers told police that their sister, 44, had killed their mother in 2015 and she herself died of COVID-19 in 2019, despite the fact that the first cases of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. were not reported until January 2020.
Michael Lelko, 45, and John Lelko, 41, self-identified as the brothers in an interview with WFLD before they were arrested.
The Lelko brothers were taken into custody on Saturday after two bodies were recovered from the backyard, WLS reported.
The bodies have not been officially identified as the mother and sister.
The brothers have not been officially named by police as charges are still pending against them. They have yet to be listed in custody in Cook County jail records.
Brothers Michael and John Lelko speak to reporters outside their home in Lyons, Illinois
The two hoarder brothers have been arrested in Illinois after cops found two bodies the men said belong to their sister and mother in the backyard of their filthy home
The men are seen being placed into handcuffs by officers with the Lyons Police Department
The Lelko brothers were arrested after they were treated and evaluated for mental illness at a local hospital
Another of the Lelko brothers is pictured being placed into handcuffs
The Lelko brothers were taken into custody on Saturday after the bodies were recovered from the backyard
Police said the brothers had claimed that their sister, who had mental illness, pushed their mother, who was in her 70s, down the stairs and that she ultimately died from a stroke, according to WGN.
The brothers said that they had buried their mother in the backyard along with the bodies of several animals that had died at the home because they could not afford funeral costs, WFLD reported.
When their sister died in 2019, the brothers also reportedly buried her in the backyard because of funeral costs and because of fears of COVID-19.
The state of Illinois has no records of those deaths.
One of the Lelko brothers is pictured being placed in the backseat of a police SUV
Autopsies were expected to be performed on the bodies on Sunday and investigators will use DNA to determine if the bodies do belong to Lelko’s sister and mother, according to the outlet.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office for results on the autopsies.
Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion said during a press conference on Saturday that the conditions of the two bodies indicated that the deaths of the two bodies did occur in 2015 and 2019.
He said the brothers may be telling the truth about how their sister and bother had died, but that investigators are treating the case as a homicide investigation for now.
The inside of the brothers’ home is pictured. The brothers had to exit their home through a window because of the clutter inside blocking the doors
Police found the home to be crammed top to bottom with garbage and debris, including bottles of urine, feces smeared everywhere, and no running water or working toilets
Several cats and dogs were found running around the property
Officers with the Lyons Police Department were called to the home in the 3900 block of Center Avenue on Thursday to perform a welfare check on the brothers after the water company reported that water hadn’t been used at the home in years.
Police found the home to be crammed top to bottom with garbage and debris, including bottles of urine, feces smeared everywhere, and no working toilets.
Several cats and dogs were found running around the property, which were taken in by the local Humane Society.
‘It was multiple liters of urine,’ Herion told WLS. ‘Every room, the front door, the backdoor were completely barricaded with debris, boxes.’
The brothers, who were said to have physical and mental health issues, had to exit their home through a window because of the clutter inside blocking the doors.
Before their arrest, the brothers had been taken to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn for medical treatment were they went through mental health evaluations, Herion said.
They were later discharged and put up in a hotel, but walked over to their house, still wearing blue hospital gowns, to speak to reporters after seeing news reports on television about the impending excavation in their backyard.
Law enforcement stand next to a home along Center Avenue in Lyons, Illinois, where authorities believe they’ve uncovered bodies in the backyard on Saturday
Tents are set up outside the Lelko residence in preparation for Friday’s excavation in search of the human remains
Police were called to the home in the 3900 block of South Center Avenue in Lyons for a welfare check after one of the Lelko brothers had not been seen for some time
Police said they found the residence to be crammed with trash and bottles containing urine; it had no running water or working toilets
Neighbor Martha Aranda Castaneda told WFLD that she had not seen one of the Lelkos in over a year.
‘That’s the first time I saw him, when [police] took him out,’ she said.
She added to WLS: ‘I just hope they get the help they need, obviously there’s something that’s not correct.’
Neighbor Brian King called the mother of the two brothers a ‘hard-working lady’ who took care of her three kids.
‘We’ve known something going on for some time. I feel sorry for the people because there’s been, if you want to say, medical issues for the boys,’ King said.
Herion said that the police department has enlisted the help of expert crews, including an archaeologist, to sift through the dirt outside the home and comb through the home for evidence.