Saturday, November 1, 2014

A bi-state whodunit – what should we make of Hegewisch, Hoosier slayings

It started out just over a month ago when police found the body of Milan Lekich, an electrician for Ford Motor Co., chopped into pieces, and stuffed in bags inside the garage of his home in the Hegewisch neighborhood.

Nobody knows when Lekich was killed – the man’s family said they hadn’t heard from him in a year-and-a-half. The best lead they had was that the man went to Las Vegas early in 2013 and was married at one of those quickie wedding chapels.

BUT THAT LEAD wound up going nowhere. For it seems that Teresa Jarding wound up in the rural town of Fowler, Ind., and was found in a drugged-up state with a pistol by her when she was finally found by police.

She died a day later. Police learned her mother, Nena Metoyer, had come to visit from Dunedin, Fla., to keep an eye on her. So police wanted to talk to her – hoping she might shed some light on the relationship and two deaths.

The only problem is that police wound up finding a body buried in the woman’s backyard. Earlier this week, police in Fowler said that the local coroner confirmed the body was that of Metoyer (or the mother-in-law of the Hegewisch resident).

So now, there are three dead bodies, with police both in Chicago and Indiana saying this case is being complicated by the fact that everybody is turning up dead. There’s nobody to talk to who could make any sort of sense about what really happened.

SUCH AS WHETHER all these deaths are actually connected. Circumstances would indicate that when so many connected people simultaneously turn up dead, it’s not coincidence.

But I don’t know that for a fact, and neither does anybody else. Anybody who claims to know what is going on is lying.

I have been a reporter-type person for more than a quarter-century, and have written about crime, police activity and legal issues that have garnered national attention.

Yet this may well be the screwiest story I ever have dealt with (I wrote some stories for a suburban newspaper with which I’m no longer connected). It’s one that I’m not sure we’re ever going to get a straight answer as to “Whodunit?”

ABOUT ALL WE know is that assorted medical examiners and coroners are finding that Lekich and Metoyer (but not Jarding, the potential wife) were killed with gunshots to the head.

Note I pointed out the “potential” wife.

Because although Jarding was identified by police in Chicago and Fowler, Ind., as the wife of Lekich (who apparently was left in his garage for quite some time without any of his neighbors noticing anything unusual – “nobody saw nothin’,” apparently), there are others who would claim they were never married.

Such as Lekich’s family, which gets angered at the thought that a marriage took place. Or the ex-husband of the woman, who has been tracked down by several Chicago-area television stations.

IT TURNS OUT he’s a corrections officer at the Cook County Jail, and he told television types the divorce was not official back when the wedding allegedly took place in Las Vegas.

Is this a significant fact? Or is it mere coincidence. Is this a family in denial, or just thoroughly out of the loop about what had become of one of their relations?

What should we think of these two death investigations that get law enforcement all worked up because medical types have ruled the man’s and mother-in-law’s deaths as “homicide” and the woman’s death as suicide through a bad combination of drugs.

Or is this going to be one of those stories we wind up writing about in another quarter of a century; yet another “cold case” remaining unsolved to that day!


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