More senseless deaths
When this story broke yesterday about a married couple in their 70s being found shot and beaten in a Cook county Forest Preserve, it was bad. I thought: How could anyone do this?, Why?
As the day went on and Chicago News was all over the story, we later find out that it is Garrard McClendon's parents. Garrard McClendon the author of Ax or Ask, and host of CLTV News, and former radio host on other news stations in Chicago.
Later we find out what an asset to the community Garrard's parents, Milton and Ruby were, making this even sadder.
Many of the Chicagoland area, has either watched or heard Garrard McClendon speak out about violence, and senseless acts. This unfortunately hits too close to home for him now.
Many condolences Garrard and family.
The car belonging to the slain parents of a CLTV host was found early this morning on the Dan Ryan Expressway after a woman called police to report she saw the vehicle on which police had issued an alert.
Meanwhile, the investigation into the slayings of Milton and Ruby McClendon--parents of CLTV host Garrard McClendon--shifted from the south suburban forest preserve where they were found to their Hammond, Ind., home.
Tuesday evening, Cook County Forest Preserve police turned the probe into the shooting deaths of Milton and Ruby McClendon over to Hammond police after investigators determined their home in the 1000 block of Field Street appeared to be the crime scene.
This morning, Illinois State Police said the car belonging to the McClendons has been located. Master Sgt. Anthony Hoop said the 1997 Cadillac Eldorado was seen by a female driver who told police she had seen a broadcast report about the murders and missing car and spotted the vehicle on the northbound express lanes of the Dan Ryan around 55th Street about 1:45 a.m.
Police had asked the public to look for the couple's green 1997 Cadillac Eldorado two-door, with Indiana license plate 365ZTN that expires in 2010.
Hoop said the woman said she saw two males getting out of the vehicle. One, he said, was described as carrying a backpack, the other as wearing a red hoody. He said Illinois State Police along with Hammond and Chicago police were on the scene and conducting a general search in the area for the two possible suspects.
Hoop said the woman who called police told them she was on her way to work when she saw the vehicle. Illinois State police turned the car over to Hammond police officials who would not comment this morning.
The couple's bodies were discovered about 12:30 p.m. Monday in the Wentworth Woods of the Cook County Forest Preserve off Campbell Road between Pulaski and Michigan City Roads.
An autopsy performed Tuesday determined that Milton McClendon died from a gunshot wound to the head and Ruby McClendon died from multiple gunshot wounds. Milton McClendon, who was identified through his heart pacemaker, was 78, and his wife was 76, records show.
Inside the couple's Fields Street home, police could be seen conducting their investigation. Outside, longtime neighbors, friends and acquaintances reeled in shock at the death of the elderly couple who were rarely seen apart.
"It (doesn't) make sense," neighbor Tommie Dorsey said. "It would be curious to see how all of this unravels. I just can't see them letting someone in the house," Dorsey said.
The husband and wife had been one Hammond's first African-American residents and were pillars of the community, said Jeff Morrow, whose sister is married to the couple's son, Duane. "They wanted to stay in this community. They took a lot of pride in living here and being from here."
Milton McClendon, a retired postal worker, and his wife promoted education to neighborhood children, while raising their three sons, Garrard, Duane and Theodore.
In recent years, the couple acted in the role of neighborhood grandparents, Dorsey said, with Ruby McClendon as recently as Saturday baking a pie for Dorsey as payment for his grandson cutting the couple's grass.
"You can't say enough about people like this, and you just can't imagine them dying such a tragic death," Dorsey added.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hammond police at (219) 852-2906.
CLTV, in a message posted on Gerrard McClendon's blog, said the station's thoughts are with McClendon and his family.
WGN-TV's Marcus Leshock offers prayers for McClendon and his family on ChicagoNow
Labels: CC Forest Preserve