Sheriff: Sycamore killings happened almost 24 hours before report

Reward of $25k still offered; victim's car caught on video headed for Chicago Aug. 14

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SYCAMORE – The Sycamore mother and son who were found dead in their home were killed sometime between 7:45 p.m. and midnight on Sunday, Aug. 14, almost a full day before their bodies were found, investigators have determined.

Patricia A. Wilson, 85, and her son, Robert J. Wilson, 64, were found dead in their home at 16058 Old State Road east of Sycamore around 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15. Police have said there were signs of a break-in at the home, an autopsy showed they were beaten to death with a blunt object. Police believe the killer or killers fled in Patricia Wilson’s white 2010 Chevrolet Impala.

DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said a comprehensive, ongoing police review of video footage taken along Route 64 that night has shown the Impala with a license plate registered to Patricia Wilson driving through West Chicago on the night of Aug. 14. Patricia Wilson was last heard from that Sunday around 7:45 p.m., when she had a phone conversation with a family member, Scott said.

“We knew that the last time [they] had a phone conversation when everything was well was at 7:45 p.m. that Sunday night,” Scott said Friday. “And then, through the investigation and reviewing a lot of the video we’ve talked about previously, the vehicle was spotted.”

A $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the killings remains on offer, and Scott said investigators are hoping a more specific timeframe and area in which the vehicle was seen could help generate information. Anyone with information on the killings is asked to contact the sheriff's office at 815-895-2155, or call DeKalb County Crime Stoppers at 815-895-3272. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous.

Scott said the vehicle is visible on multiple video recordings, making its way through West Chicago and other communities along Route 64 that night. The Wilsons’ home on Old State was just off the highway, which is called North Avenue as it heads east toward Chicago. Route 64 passes through several communities in the heart of Kane, DuPage and Cook counties.

The road ends on Chicago’s north side near Lincoln Park Zoo, which is where Chicago police eventually located the vehicle, legally parked, on Aug. 24. Police said it appeared to have been there for several days.

“We anticipate the perpetrator or perpetratorss did not want to drive on the tollway, so they took a somewhat longer route time-wise to take Route 64,” Scott said.

Since Patricia Wilson’s car was found, investigators with the DeKalb County Major Case Squad have been working to find video records that might show its path, Scott said. The major case squad has retained its full complement of investigators from the sheriff's department, as well as from DeKalb, Sycamore, Sandwich and Northern Illinois University police departments and the DeKalb County State's Attorney's office. Police have followed up on more than 700 leads, Scott said.

Much of the focus has been on obtaining and reviewing video footage from the vehicle’s suspected path on that night, he said.

“It’s been very intensive work as we continue to do that. That’s been one of the prime focuses of the manpower over the last couple weeks,” Scott said.

“We have had to obtain some search warrants for certain areas, but other than that, we’ve had a lot of cooperation from people.”

Scott declined to reveal the exact time the vehicle was seen traveling through West Chicago, or whether investigators have been able to discern whether there was more than one person inside. It’s common for police to withhold some details in an investigation in order to verify whether tips from the public are genuine.

“We want to let the public know that we are obviously still working hard on the investigation,” Scott said. “Another benefit is that maybe [this information] will help someone think about something maybe they’ve just ignored.

“Maybe they’’ll have seen something or known something, since it’s not so wide ranging now. “