Elmhurst family found dead ruled murder-suicide, coroner says

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Officials said Sunday that the death of four members of the same family in Elmhurst on Saturday was a murder-suicide. (WLS)

The death of four members of the same family in Elmhurst on Saturday was ruled a murder-suicide, officials said Sunday.

The four members of the Stack family were found shot to death late Saturday afternoon. Police responded to a wellbeing call in the 600 block of Chatham in the western suburb.

The elderly couple had two severely mentally disabled adult children who they were afraid to leave behind and from all appearances they took matters into their own hands to prevent that from happening.

"It's a bit of a shock trying to process it now," said neighbor Eric Beltran.

Four crosses sit in front of the Stacks family home in west suburban Elmhurst as friends and neighbors try to come to terms with what's happened.

"My parents really liked them a lot and had a good relationship with them. They were older so they helped take care for them," neighbor Haley Gunst said.

Elmhurst Police say they were conducting a well-being check Saturday evening when they came upon the bodies of 82-year-old Francis Stack, his wife, 82-year-old Joan Stack, and their two adult children, 57-year-old Mary Stack and 48-year-old Francis Stack Jr.

All four had gunshot wounds to the head. Sunday, the DuPage County Coroner confirmed that the Stacks died as a result of a murder-suicide. It was, according to the coroner, Francis Stack Sr. who pulled the trigger.

"He was the best," said caregiver Tina Aguina. "I thought of him like my other grandfather. He would do anything for any of us."

A caregiver to daughter Mary Stack for close to 15 years, Aguina says the Stacks children both had severe mental retardation and had been living in assisted living for several years, once their parents were no longer able to care for them.

"He didn't want to leave them without him and his wife because he was scared about their care. Nobody would have cared for them the way they did," Aguina said.

Aguina said that Francis Stack Sr. and his wife were having serious health problems and that it only increased their concern over what was to happen to their disabled son and daughter.
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