Body is that of missing man

January 2, 2008 8:58:19 PM PST
A body found buried in the basement of a West Side house is the key to a four-year missing persons case. The medical examiner says Eric Kaminski, 25, of Oak Lawn, was shot multiple times and the case is now a homicide.

The body was found buried beneath concrete at the home in the Pilsen neighborhood in the 2200 block of W. Coulter. Residents call the area the heart of Italy.

The human remains were discovered Sunday. Kaminski disappared February 5, 2004. The construction worker was last seen leaving a job at the Chicago Hilton and Towers on Michigan Avenue. His truck was found on the West Side, wiped clean of fingerprints.

Police, acting on a tip, began searching the basement using cadaver dogs initially on Saturday night. The next day, they jack hammered through the concrete floor, where underneath, they found Kaminski's bones and other remains.

Reportedly there are several new leads under investigation. They include phone records - who Kaminski called during the hours after he left the Hilton Towers.

Eric Kaminski was found buried under six feet of concrete and limestone. A possible suspect is in police custody on unrelated charges. The home where the remains were found was once owned by a relative of the suspect.

Kaminski's body was found on what would've been his 29th birthday.

"We got our son back, but not the way we wanted him back," said Kaminski's mother, Patti Kaminski.

She and husband Dan Kaminski say they always had a feeling their son was a victim of foul play when he went missing.

"But you always had that little bit of feeling you were wrong and he would pop his head in the door," Patti Kaminski said.

"I don't understand who did it or why they would want to do it," said Dan Kaminski.

Patti Kaminski said she suspects the motive may have been drug related. She said Eric Kaminski developed a drug problem after his brother, Kevin, died a few years earlier.

For the past four years, the Kaminskis held vigils, put up a reward and searched all over the Chicago area.

"It was four years of torture. Every day you look at his photograph think about him," said Dan Kaminski.

"And tonight we can put our heads on pillows and know where he is," said Patti Kaminski.