An autopsy is scheduled Friday for a 55-year-old Arlington Heights man found dead in his home Thursday morning, and a second man wanted in connection with the investigation remains in custody after his capture during a high-speed chase through several suburbs.
Officers from multiple Cook County police departments took part in the chase, which ended in East Dundee about 30 minutes after it began Thursday near the campus of Harper College in Palatine.
Arlington Heights police said officers and paramedics found the dead man, identified as George Nellessen, while responding to an 8:45 a.m. 911 call to his home in the 1000 block of Wilshire Lane. Paramedics determined the victim was beyond medical attention and the scene was secured by officers, police said.
Authorities said there would be no charges filed Thursday because they are awaiting autopsy results determining whether the death was a homicide.
According to police, the person who called 911 also reported that a family member of the dead man abruptly left the home and drove away in a tan Mercury Grand Marquis.
About 9:30 a.m., authorities said, a Schaumburg police officer spotted the vehicle driving near Harper and tried to make a traffic stop. The driver refused to stop, beginning a pursuit through the college's parking lot before heading westbound on Algonquin Road. From there, reports indicated, the chase continued into Hoffman Estates, Barrington Hills and then the Dundee area.
East Dundee Police Chief Terry Mee said Arlington Heights police caught the man and took him into custody on Williams Road, near Van Buren Street.
Reports indicated the man was 19 years old, but police would not confirm.
Tricia Saviano Hammer, a witness to the capture, described him as a young man with blond hair, a camouflage jacket and black, baggy shorts.
Saviano Hammer said she was in her upstairs bedroom in East Dundee about 10:15 a.m. when she heard her two dogs bark at the sirens headed her way. She looked out the window to see what she thought was a police car speeding toward her house at Williams Place and Van Buren Street. Turns out, it was the wanted man's car, followed closely behind by about 15 squad cars, she said.
The car turned left onto Williams and stopped. She thought she heard a gunshot and then saw the driver's side rear tire was shredded.
"I saw cops with guns drawn, tightening their vests," she said. "There must have been 20 cops around here. I tried to stay away from the windows, just in case."
After the man was taken away by police, a tow truck arrived at the scene to remove his heavily damaged car.
Back in Arlington Heights, the brick split-level home at the center of the investigation had been cordoned off by police. Investigators from the Major Case Assistance Team were on scene and canvassing the neighborhood.
A neighbor said Nellessen, a widower, lived there along with his son. A daughter is away attending college in Alabama.
Prospect High School was on soft lock down -- meaning the school's doors were locked and visitors were escorted within the building -- from about 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., according to District 214 spokeswoman Venetia Miles.
Staff writers Larissa Chinwah, Lee Filas, Sheila Ahern and Kimberly Pohl contributed to this report.