Man charged for allegedly burying mother, sister in backyard

Chicago man charged with burying mother, sister in backyard

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An Illinois man has been charged with two counts of concealment of death for allegedly burying his mother and sister in his backyard, according to local police.

Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion announced Thursday that Michael Melko, 45, would face the two felony counts after the remains of Lelko's mother and sister, 79-year-old Jean Lelko and 44-year-old Jennifer Lelko, were uncovered in the backyard of their Chicago home, according to the Associated Press.

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Lelko reportedly admitted to police that his mother had died in 2015 and his sister died in 2019. He may face separate charges for collecting welfare checks on behalf of his mother after her death.

Lelko's brother, John Lelko, 41, was also arrested but has yet to be charged. Neither has been charged with crimes relating to the two women's deaths, however, as the Lyon's medical office was not able to determine a cause of death, the AP reported.

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The younger brother may face charges of obstruction due to telling police that his mother and sister were living elsewhere, despite being aware of their deaths, according to the AP.

Concealment of death charges carries a penalty of between two and five years in prison, as well as a maximum fine of $25,000.