Thursday, March 06, 2008

Lake Barrington Homicide

This sort of stuff doesn’t happen in Lake County. You don’t think it happens anywhere. It so closely borders the surreal that it seems more TV fiction than real life, unless you were involved like I was involved in the case.

The material from my media release today:
Lake Barrington Homicide

On Saturday, February 23, 2008, a man was pronounced dead at 28031 Lakeview in Lake Barrington, Illinois. The victim was found pinned underneath a pickup truck which had burned. Based on circumstantial evidence, he was tentatively identified as Ari Squire. The burning of the body hindered positive identification.

An autopsy performed on February 23, 2008 revealed the cause of death to be a crushing injury to his chest, which ruptured his heart. The level of carbon monoxide in his blood demonstrated that the fire had occurred after his death.

DNA blood specimens were obtained during the autopsy for assistance with identification. Tattoos that should have been present did not appear to be on the body of the deceased. The severity of the burns on his hands precluded the use of fingerprints for identification purposes.

On Sunday, February 24, our forensic dentist examined the deceased and took dental x-rays to assist with ongoing attempts at scientific identification. Although we encountered difficulty in obtaining Mr. Squire’s dental records, we were able to secure them one and a half weeks after the autopsy. A review of these records by our forensic dentist consultant found that they were not consistent with the x-rays of the deceased. We then began efforts to obtain dental records of other possibilities for the victim.

On Sunday, March 2, my office was notified that the body of a male matching the description of Ari Squire was discovered dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a motel room in Eureka, Missouri.

As the events unfolded in Missouri, DNA samples from the victim being held in our facility since February 23rd were compared to family members of a Missing and Endangered Person. We have now positively identified the victim as Justin M. Newman, 20-year old male from Arlington Heights.

Other information revealed at the press conference today:

The decedent received his burns primarily from heat conducted from the very hot truck fire (a fire of uncertain origin) as the truck sat on his chest after his death, most were not direct burns. Was he unconscious before the truck dropped on his chest?

When Mr. Newman was found under the burned truck he had on Mr. Squire’s clothing and boots and had Mr. Squire’s wallet in his back pocket.

Mr. Squire had purchased blue contact lenses an hair dye (Mr. Newman had blue eyes and brown hair)

The events in Missouri: Eureka, Missouri police while running plates of cars in a motel parking lot (something they routinely do) had the plates come back as belonging to Justin Newman listed in LEADS as a missing and endangered individual. The front desk staff reported that the room was rented under the name of Justin Newman. Mr. Squire killed himself as police approached his motel room (single gunshot to the head).

The investigation continues into several matters, such as who else was involved, was there indeed email communications between Mr. Squire and his wife after his supposed death on February 23rd?

Is fact stranger than fiction?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr. Keller,
Thank you for the time line on this. A good reminder about just how much your office does to solve crimes. You all work very hard for us in Lake County, thank you. You and your staff are the quiet heros, helping families and solving mysteries. Thanks! and keep up the good work.