CHICAGO – Chicago police on Thursday found the bodies of four men, one woman and a child inside a home on the city’s South Side in what they say could be a murder-suicide, even as they added extra patrols in the neighbourhood.
Standing in the street in the well-tended Gage Park neighbourhood, interim police Superintendent John Escalante told reporters that police checked the house Thursday afternoon after receiving a call from a co-worker worried about someone who lived there. The person had missed two days of work, which was “highly unusual and very suspicious,” Escalante said.
Police arrived at the single-family brick home just after 1 p.m. They looked inside and saw one body, entered and found five more bodies. The bodies had signs of trauma, but authorities have not determined the cause of death.
Authorities were still working to identify the dead. Escalante said it’s probable they were all family members. The child is thought to be 10 to 12 years old. Police are trying to locate other relatives, Escalante said.
“At this time we don’t believe that there is any threat to the surrounding community or any known threat right now to the immediate neighbourhood,” Escalante said.
“This is going to be an investigation that is going to take some time.”
In the neighbourhood, three teenage boys said they were worried about a classmate at Rachel Carson Elementary School who lived in the home. They feared he was among the dead.
“His favourite sport was soccer,” Aaron Villazana said of his friend, and Emmanuel Hernandez chimed: “He’d get out of school and play soccer. … He liked sharing.”
“I just saw him three days ago. He was walking by. He told me, ‘How are your basketball games going?'” said Jesus Anderade.
Earlier, Rosa De La Torre’s 13-year-old son comforted her as she sat down and sobbed near the home of her friend, whom she thought could be among the victims.
Another neighbour, Lettie Magas, 68, lamented what she said has been an increase in crime in recent years.
“I feel safe as long as it’s daylight out, but I won’t come out at night, no way,” Magas said.
© 2016 The Associated Press