Police to Excavate Backyard, Brothers in 'Hoarder Home' Confessed to Burying Mom, Sister

A residential backyard in Lyons, Illinois, is to be excavated Friday after two brothers living in what police described as a "hoarder home" confessed to burying their mom and sister, the Associated Press reported.

The Lyons Police Department responded to a wellness check after a water utility reported that water was not being used at the two-story home. Police found a barricaded backdoor at the house, which was full of items and waste, including numerous cats and dogs. The two brothers, in their late 40s and 50s were present, one with "some health issues," said Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion, according to the AP.

When police were treating that brother, he confessed that his mother and sister used to live there but had died. "He said, 'Oh they got sick, they died, and we just buried them in the backyard,'" Herion told WLS-TV.

The brothers claimed their mother, who was in her 70s, died from COVID-19 in 2019, although the virus was not found in the U.S. until spring 2020. They said their sister, who was 44, died after hitting her head.

Police are conducting a homicide investigation.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Police Tape in Chicago, Illinois
A residential backyard in Lyons, Illinois, will be excavated after two brothers confessed to burying their mom and sister there. Above, police tape surrounds a crime scene where three people were shot in Chicago in June. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Excavation equipment was expected to arrive Friday at the house for a forensic investigation by police, the Cook County medical examiner's office and the state's attorney, police said.

The Lyons Police Department has not responded to messages left Friday by the AP seeking an update on the investigation and excavation. Lyons is 12 miles southwest of Chicago.

When officers were called Thursday morning to the home, gas and electric use was also minimal.

Officers found the residence without running water or working toilets. There were items and waste from floor to ceiling, including feces and bottles filled with urine.

The brothers told police they had buried the bodies in the backyard because of fears of COVID-19 and to avoid paying the funeral costs.

The state of Illinois has no record of those deaths, WLS-TV reported.

The brothers also said their father died in 2012 and was cremated.

The men were taken to a hospital for physical and mental evaluation but have not been placed under arrest, police said.