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updated: 5/21/2018 7:18 PM

Three found dead inside Winfield home; cops mum

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  • Video: Neighbor on finding 3 dead

  • Video: Winfield chief on 3 deaths

  • COURTESY OF KATIE EARLSNext-door neighbor Katie Earls identified the three family members found in their Winfield home as Tom and Nancy Clinkenbeard and their adult son, Karl.

    COURTESY OF KATIE EARLSNext-door neighbor Katie Earls identified the three family members found in their Winfield home as Tom and Nancy Clinkenbeard and their adult son, Karl.

  • Winfield Chief David Schar, left, talks with one of his officers as police investigate the discovery of three bodies Monday inside a house along Jefferson Street.

    Winfield Chief David Schar, left, talks with one of his officers as police investigate the discovery of three bodies Monday inside a house along Jefferson Street.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Katie Earls pauses for a moment while talking about her neighbors, a "gracious" husband and wife who were found dead along with their adult son in their home Monday morning on Jefferson Street just south of Manchester Road in Winfield.

      Katie Earls pauses for a moment while talking about her neighbors, a "gracious" husband and wife who were found dead along with their adult son in their home Monday morning on Jefferson Street just south of Manchester Road in Winfield.
    Rick West | Staff Photographer

  • Winfield police say they responded to a home on Jefferson Street around 6 a.m. Monday, forced their way inside and found three people dead.

    Winfield police say they responded to a home on Jefferson Street around 6 a.m. Monday, forced their way inside and found three people dead.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Police confirmed they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance Saturday at a Winfield home where three people were found dead on Monday morning.

    Police confirmed they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance Saturday at a Winfield home where three people were found dead on Monday morning.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Police were mum on details Monday after finding three people dead inside a Winfield home.

    Police were mum on details Monday after finding three people dead inside a Winfield home.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

Three members of a Winfield family were found dead Monday morning inside their ranch house on Jefferson Street just south of Manchester Road, but authorities are remaining mum about what happened.

Police Chief David Schar said officers were called to the home about 6 a.m., forced their way inside, and found two of the victims together and another in a separate room.

Neighbors said the husband, wife and an adult son in his 40s were found dead. Katie Earls, who has lived in the home next door for more than 20 years, identified them as Tom and Nancy Clinkenbeard and their son, Karl.

But as of Monday night, police had not identified them and were still trying to reach one family member. At a brief news conference with DuPage County Coroner Richard Jorgensen nearly 12 hours after police were called, Schar said investigators would not release any details about the scene, the identities of the victims or how they died.

Schar said no one is in custody, and police have secured the house. By early Monday evening, the DuPage County sheriff's evidence unit was nearly done processing the scene.

"At this point, we do not feel there is any additional danger to the community," Schar said. "We feel the community is safe, but we are comfortable calling it a death investigation until the coroner can complete his tasks."

Jorgensen said his office will conduct autopsies and toxicology tests on the victims Tuesday, and further information could be released later in the day.

Earls, the next-door neighbor, said her husband went outside Monday morning because one of the dead couple's two dogs was waiting outside the home.

"I'm like, something's going on here, so I started banging on the door, ringing the doorbell," she said. "All the lights were on in the house. I didn't see anything."

She said her husband, Harry, looked in the neighbor's kitchen window and, when he saw the father and adult son lying on the floor, had his wife immediately call 911.

"He said he saw a chair turned upside-down, and he thought that was weird, and then he looked down, and they were on the floor, right by the wall," Earls said.

The wife was a retired reading specialist in Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, and the husband was a maintenance employee for more than 30 years in the same district, Earls said.

The couple also raised their grandson in the home and celebrated his college graduation with a family gathering over the weekend.

Neighbors reported hearing yelling on Saturday, and Schar confirmed earlier Monday that police responded to the home for a report of a domestic disturbance, but he said he couldn't comment on the specifics of the call. At the news conference, Schar said he couldn't speak to whether police have been to the home on more than one occasion.

On Sunday, Earls said she didn't see any activity at the home in the tight-knit neighborhood.

"Their paper was never picked up, which is really weird," she said. "They get up early. They walk their dogs. They read their paper. They're in and out of the house all day. They sit outside and drink coffee and converse with everybody. This is a very open neighborhood. We all know each other."

The husband and wife were known for opening their backyard vegetable garden to neighbors.

"He just finished planting it this weekend," Earls said.

She said she is caring for the couple's two lap dogs, Smokey and Bandit.

"Bandit, the one that was left in the house, is just sitting by my door shaking," she said.

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