PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. – A man believed to be depressed over financial ills and the pending eviction of his family from a Chicago apartment apparently drowned his two sons along with himself in Lake Michigan (search), authorities said Monday.
The three bodies were bound together with rope and tied to bags filled with sand when a resident spotted them washed up on the beach Saturday in this community just north of the Illinois state line. They had been missing almost six weeks.
Kevin L. Amde (search), 45, and his sons, Tesla E. Amde, 3, and Davinci Amde, 6, were last seen May 6, when the father and younger son picked up the older boy from his school in Chicago, Police Chief Brian Wagner said. Veronica Amde, Kevin Amde's wife and the children's mother, reported them missing May 11.
Wagner said the bodies were tied together with nylon rope. Also tied to the bodies were two nylon book bags, each containing personal belongings, and two plastic bags filled with sand.
The pockets of one child were also filled with sand, Wagner said.
The children's deaths were ruled homicides. Authorities plan further toxicology tests on the father, as well as an investigation, before making a determination on how he died, said Deputy Medical Examiner Rick Berg.
Police said investigators learned Kevin Amde was depressed in the days before the disappearance, apparently over financial problems and his family's imminent eviction (search).
"This has been a terrible tragedy, and I can't imagine what would possess anyone to do something like this to his children," Wagner said. "I doubt that anyone can understand this."
Wagner said the family did not want to comment.
Investigators have said the amount of time the three were believed to be in the water was consistent with how long they had been missing. Where and how they entered the water remains under investigation.
"At this point, the question of where these folks went into the water remains unanswered," Wagner said. "We may never have the answer to that."
Amde's family was having trouble paying rent for their Chicago apartment and a judge ruled earlier this month they could be evicted.