Updated 3/17/11 12:52 p.m.
OAK LAWN, Ill. (STMW) – A Chicago man shot his elderly mother in the head, then slashed her throat before fatally shooting himself in the chest in her southwest suburban home early Wednesday.
Police responded to a well-being check at 5:22 a.m. Wednesday at 4645 W. 99th Pl. in Oak Lawn and found 73-year-old Lorraine Savage and 40-year-old Steven Adams dead, a release from police said.
Due to a strong odor coming from the house, police forced entry and found the bodies in the kitchen in advanced stages of decomposition.
Autopsies on Thursday found Savage suffered defensive knife wounds on her hands and suffered a fatal injury to her neck when her throat was cut with a knife. She also suffered a non-fatal gunshot to the head, the release said.
Adams, of 3307 W. 62nd Place in Chicago, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the chest. He used a .380 semi-automatic handgun and a 12-inch kitchen knife to kill his mother, the release said.
Police said Adams suffered mental health issues, which likely played a factor in the murder-suicide.
Police said their only previous visits to the home were for medical-related calls.
Neighbors said they knew little about Savage or her son.
“We hadn’t really seen her,” said Scott Swayda, who lives next door. “To be honest with you, I didn’t know he was in the house. I feel bad about this. It bothers me. I wish I could have done something more.”
He said the garbage cans out front were not brought in for several days after last week’s pickup, but he didn’t think anything of it.
“Sometimes I’d see her leaving in the morning,” he said. “She was a nice lady.”
Swayda said he noticed an odor emanating from the house Tuesday, which led him to call police on Wednesday. “It was kind of strong yesterday,” he said.
Bill Theodore, who lives across the street, said his sister met Adams once and thought “he was a little off.”
Martin Murphy, who also lives across the street, said Savage and her son were private people.
“We didn’t really know them,” he said. “They just kept to themselves.”
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