Chicago police investigating after remains found in Rogers Park home, sources say

Liz Nagy Image
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
CPD investigating remains found in North Side home: sources
Chicago police are investigating at a home on West Fitch in Rogers Park after human remains were discovered following the death of owner, sources say.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago police are investigating at a home in Rogers Park after human remains were found inside, sources said.

Workers with the medical examiner's office wheeled an empty stretcher into a home alongside a Chicago police escort.

Sources tell ABC7 that police were called to the home in the 2800 block of West Fitch after those remains were found. Neighbors said they have been going in and out of the home for hours.

A neighbor also told us she spoke to the sister of the man who lived in the home. This morning she said the relative told the neighbor she had discovered human remains in the basement.

"She just said they found body in the basement. The doors were locked and moth balls all over," said neighbor Tillie, who did not want to share her last name or show her face on camera.

Neighbors said more than a week ago, family members of the man who lived in the home showed up, frantic and confused.

"We were eating lunch on Saturday a week ago and we saw some guy on the block trying to knock on people's doors, waving his hands in the air," said neighbor Alana Wakshlag.

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The family members said they had not heard from or seen the man, and were also unable to get inside the home. That's when they discovered that man who died.

"His family members showed up and were asking neighbors on the block if they had seen him in the last month, or recently at all," said neighbor Sarah.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office recorded 79-year-old Gerald Harris, who lives at the address, as dead on Feb. 3 of natural heart related causes. Neighbors said he may have been deceased for months.

"We didn't have a close relationship, but he liked to sit out in his car and read the newspaper and when we would pass by he liked to talk," said neighbor Bobbie Nussbaum.

Neighbors said they believed Harris, who they referred to as "Gerry," had lived alone for years and would often spend long periods of time sitting in his car.

"We used to talk from his car. Just a nice man. Very lonely. Lived in his car a lot. Went to McDonald's a lot," said Tillie.

Police have not said how long the remains may have been in the home, or what condition they were in when they were discovered.

Now, with an unidentified body found in the home, neighbors are questioning everything.

"I can't imagine him not knowing that there was somebody down there. I don't know what to make of it," said neighbor Jerry Nussbaum.

That body is now in the custody of the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, where investigators will determine who they are and how they died.