Jul 29, 2014

Cops: Separated Couple Found Dead in Orland Home

Authorities are investigating deaths of an estranged couple in a quiet Orland subdivision, after a suicide note was found written by the man.

5:40 p.m.

Police are in the process of looking into any past history or domestic reports involving the couple, and are also still notifying members of their families, Commander John Keating said Tuesday.

Keating declined to comment on any estimates for time of death, whether any weapons or signs of a struggle were found and the nature of the couple's injuries.

"The two deceased were taken to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office," Keating said. "It would be premature to comment on any such issues before the autopsy is complete."

The autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.

Orland Park detectives are still following leads to piece together what happened at 17171 Highwood Drive within the last day.

5:03 p.m.

A next-door neighbor living north of the residence said that in the several hours police have remained on the scene, she's felt comforted by their presence.

"They've been working really hard and they've kept everything concealed and covered," Jeanette Brook said, later noting that they first showed up around 10 a.m. Tuesday. "I'm glad they're here and I'm very proud of our police department right now. It's impressive, how they've handled it."

She said she was home last night and this morning but didn't see anything suspicious. She declined to give any details about the couple living in the home, or the circumstances, in order to protect their privacy during a difficult time.

"I actually don't want to say anything out of respect for the family," she said. "I prefer that any information about the incident is shared by the police because I really don't want people speculating. The family should have some privacy."

Other neighbors, including Brook, expressed concern for three daughters living in the home. Authorities have said they were unharmed.

A cameraman from WGN News rolled up to the scene around 5:10 p.m. and began filming from the sidewalk. An Orland Park police officer, who had backed her squad car into the driveway shortly before 5 p.m., remained in her vehicle.

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4:28 p.m.

Orland Park Police sent a news release regarding the incident, saying they responded to the scene after getting a call from another department requesting a well-being check at the home.

"Hickory Hills Police related they were searching for a 55-year-old male who had left a suicide note at the home of his parents in Hickory Hills," the statement said. "Responding officers entered the home and located the man and a 48-year-old female, both deceased inside the residence."

Police said the pair has been "tentatively identified" as a married couple who were recently separated and living apart. Their names were not released pending notification of their families, according to the release.

The two were taken to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office and autopsies are scheduled for Wednesday morning. Police said their deaths "appear to be the result of a domestic dispute." They aren't looking for a suspect at this time, they said.

4:19 p.m.

A woman carrying a handgun on her hip and wearing blue booties and purple gloves exited through the front door of the home and went to a Cook County Sheriff's Office vehicle, where she opened the hood and lingered near the front driver's side door.

She seemed to be gathering equipment from the back of the squad, quickly walking back into the home around 4:22 p.m.

A neighbor who asked that Patch pull forward so he could park in his driveway said he didn't know the residents of the home but commented that he believes a family with children live there.

3:59 p.m. 

Though one undercover squad car and two Cook County cars remain on the scene, both vans just left the driveway and headed southbound on Highwood Drive.

3:50 p.m.

Authorities opened one of the home's two garage doors, where two white vans had reversed into the driveway around 3:30 p.m. 

Both vans had their back doors open and five investigators stood in a line to prevent Patch from photographing what appeared to be two body bags—one in each—being placed inside the vehicles.

3:35 p.m.

A neighbor found standing in his driveway across the street from the scene said he wasn't sure what was going on, but noted police were at his home earlier Tuesday afternoon asking him questions.

"There was a domestic dispute, from what I understand," said the resident, who declined to be named. "They asked if we heard anything around midnight."

Shortly before 3:30 p.m., a large box-type Orland Park Police Department command center vehicle moved from its position in the driveway of the home, only to be replaced by two windowless white vans.

A steady stream of authorities, some wearing blue booties and purple gloves, were walking in and out of the front door of the home.

3:19 p.m.

An investigator with the Cook County Sheriff's Office removed the yellow police tape that was cordoning off the home and stuffed it into his back pocket.

He refused to comment on the circumstances incide the brick, two story residence, but nodded when asked if he was investigating a possible murder.

3:10 p.m., 17171 Highwood Drive

Cook County Sheriff's deputies and  are investigating the death of two people who were found inside a home today at 17171 Highwood Drive in Orland Park.

"I can tell you that we have two confirmed dead and that we are investigating the circumstances surrounding it," Commander John Keating said Tuesday afternoon.

A white truck with "Orland Park Police Command Center" written in blue was parked sideways in the driveway of the home shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. The site was cordoned off by yellow police tape.

Orland Park Editor Ben Feldheim contributed to this report.

Stay with Patch as this story develops.

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