Updated 2/1/11 12:02 a.m.
SCHILLER PARK, Ill. (STMW) – A second body was found Monday inside a burned Schiller Park tavern where the bar owner was found murdered last week.
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Firefighters battling a blaze last Thursday at the Horseshoe Inn at 9639 W. Irving Park Rd. in Schiller Park found the body of 67-year-old George Markopoulos inside the building, Schiller Park police said. Markopoulos was the business owner and lived in an apartment behind the tavern.
An autopsy determined Markopoulos died of head injuries from blunt trauma from an assault and the death was ruled a homicide, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
On Monday, the medical examiner’s office said another body was found inside the burned building.
Schiller Park Fire Chief Tom Deegan said the body was found about 9:30 a.m. while investigators resumed processing the crime scene. The body was found behind the bar while “a considerable” amount of roof and ceiling materials from the area.
Investigators did not work over the weekend and had just started their work Monday when the body was found, Deegan said.
An autopsy on the unidentified body is expected Tuesday, the medical examiner’s office said.
The tavern closed at 2 a.m. and firefighters got the call about 3:45 a.m., Schiller Park Fire Chief Tom Deegan said.
“When crews got there, there was heavy smoke coming out the front door of the building,” Deegan said.
Firefighters were aware someone was in the burning building and firefighters found Markopoulos’ body in the tavern area near the foot of a stairway leading to the residential area where he lived, Deegan said.
The fire three-alarm fire engulfed the building and caused significant damage, Deegan said. The fire was extinguished about 7 a.m.
“He [Markopoulos] was a real nice guy,” Deegan said of Markopoulos. “He would help out with fund raisers, he worked with us a lot.’’
The Schiller Park Fire Department referred all questions on the body found Monday to the Schiller Park Police Department, which could not immediately provide comment.
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