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Men Who Buried Mother, Sister in Tupperware Containers In Backyard Killed For Social Security Checks: Police

Source: Lyons police; MEGA

Apr. 9 2022, Published 4:54 p.m. ET

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Two men who buried their mother and sister in Tupperware containers in their backyard were scamming Social Security checks, according to a report.

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Fox 32 Chicago reports that Michael Lelko, 44, and his younger brother, who hasn't been named, were cashing their dead mother's monthly $1,000 Social Security checks, police said Thursday.

"For the last six years they were cashing checks to their benefit … that they know would have stopped if the mother was reported dead," Lyons Police Chief Thomas Herion told reporters.

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The case got attention last August, when the "reclusive" brothers told police the bodies had been buried in the backyard for years, Fox 32 reports.

The deceased are Jean Lelko, 79, and Jennifer Lelko, 44, though the medical examiner could not determine causes of death, according to Fox 32.

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Michael Elko was charged with two felony counts of concealment of death, while his brother was being questioned by police Thursday about whether he had participated in the buriel. He has not been charged, Fox 32 reports.


Police were unable to prove the brothers did harm to either victim when they died, Surveillance video shows Michael Lelko cashing the checks, according to Fox 32.

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Police were called for a well-being check last August at a three-level home in the 3900 block of Center Avenue. Michael Lelko told officers they buried their mother in 2015 after the sister pushed her down the stairs, which caused a fatal head wound, Fox 32 reports.

Michael Lelko told police he buried his sister after she died. He said both the mother and sister were ill and difficult to take care of, according to Fox 32.

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Fox 32 reports the brothers were found in a dilapidate home with no working toilets and hundreds of bottles of waste.

Afte the bodies were found, police took the Lelkos into custody before releasing them without charges, according to Fox 32.


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