Bodies found in forest parents of TV host

October 21, 2009 4:30:54 AM PDT
The couple found dead in a Cook County forest preserve have been identified as the parents of a Chicago television host.The victims are Milton and Ruby McClendon of Hammond, Indiana. Their son is Garrard McClendon, a commentator for CLTV.

On Tuesday night, police were searching the couple's home for evidence and were looking for their car.

Milton McClendon was 78. His wife, Ruby, was 76. They lived in Hammond where Garrard grew up.

Garrard McClendon is used to being in front of the camera every night but not like this. He was comforted by family and friends on Tuesday night outside his childhood home. It is now an active crime scene after police identified the bodies discovered on Monday in a forest preserve near Calumet City.

Carlita Echols was riding in a car with Garrard's wife on Tuesday evening, when police called and gave her the news.

"They had a wonderful mother and father. He's well known in this community so it is a tragedy," said Echols.

Garrard McClendon hosts a nightly talk show on CLTV, often taking viewers' calls.

On Tuesday night in a statement, CLTV's general manager said, "our thoughts are with Garrard and his family at this difficult time."

The McClendons have lived in their home on Field Street for some 30 years. They are described as one of the first African-American couples in Hammond and one of the best.

"They were one of the pillars in Hammond. The first ones to move here...they would hold a family funcion and everybody would came and they would just feed them," said Marlynn Burns, neighbor.

"If anyone wanted anything, all they had to do was ask and they would have given it to them. I'm in total shock," said Jeff Morrow, family friend.

Police say both victims died from gunshot wounds.

The medical examiner had a difficult time identifying them, because their IDs were not on them.

"Milton McClendon was indentified through the means of a pacemaker," said Richard Hoyda, Hammond Police.

Hammond Police say they're still looking for the couple's car. It was taken during the crime. It's described as a green, two-door Cadillac Eldorado with Indiana plates 365ZTN.

Police believe whoever murdered the couple may still be driving their car. If you have any information, you're asked to call police right away.

As for motive, police say they don't have one yet. No one can think of a reason they would be targeted.


Load Comments