On Thursday, a Lyons man was charged with concealment of death. Last year, authorities found his mother and sister buried in the backyard.
In August 2021, Mik Leiko, 45, and his brother John, 41, were taken into custody. A well-being check was instituted in their home in the 3900 block of South Center Avenue because the water department reported the water had been off for a year.
At a press conference, Village of Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion announced the charges against Michael Leiko. Additionally, he told reporters the investigation was ongoing, and federal charges for Social Security fraud will most likely be added. The brothers continued to cash their mother’s Social Security checks well after she died. As a result, the brother may also be facing charges. He was interviewed by police again Thursday.
Homicide charges can not be brought against Leiko because the medical examiner reported both deaths were undetermined.
When police arrived at the home, it was so full of stuff they could not enter through the front or back door. Instead, the Leiko brothers entered and exited the home through a side window. Police referred to the home as a “hoarder home.” The house was filled with feces and bottles full of urine.
The brothers told police their mother died in 2015 because their mentally ill sister pushed the 79-year-old woman down the stairs, and she suffered a head contusion. The sister died in 2019 from COVID. At the time of death, COVID cases and deaths were not public knowledge.
According to the brothers, the bodies were buried in Tupperware containers in the backyard because they could not afford the cost of a proper burial, and they were afraid of COVID. They also buried several animals in the backyard. Leiko showed officers where the bodies were buried, and they were exhumed to be examined.
Police placed the brothers into custody for their own safety. Herion said there were no records of the women’s deaths.
Written by Jeanette Vietti
WGN: Charges filed after mother, sister found buried in Lyons backyard last year; by Erik Runge, Rob Sneed, Chip Brewster
NBC: Brothers Face Charges After Remains of Mother, Sister Found in Yard of Lyons Home Last Summer
Chicago Sun-Times: Lyons brothers buried mother in backyard and continued cashing Social Security checks, police say; by David Struett
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Inline Image Courtesy of Logan Ingalls’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License