Officials: Barrington Hills man found in burning car was beaten to death

A Barrington Hills man found dead inside a burning car on Chicago's South Side last month was beaten to death, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The Sept. 23 death of James D. Gerage, 43, was caused by “multiple injuries due to assault” and has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner said in findings released Thursday.

Chicago police said this week they are investigating the case as a homicide, but no arrests have been made.

Gerage's body was found in the back seat of a burning car on the 600 block of West 21st Street, near the Chicago River, in the East Pilsen neighborhood. Authorities described the area as largely vacant.

Gerage was the co-owner of the Elgin-based Omega Demolition Corp. The company has worked on high-profile projects, including demolition of the Ohio Street feeder bridge to and from the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago and the removal of concrete and a seating area at the Allstate Arena to install the Chicago Wolves ice rink.

An Omega Demolition employee was killed in April when a 40-ton steel beam hit him after it fell from the Jane Addams Expressway onto Touhy Avenue in Des Plaines.

Federal authorities this week fined the company $152,000 for safety violations leading to the death of Vicente Santoyo, a father of four from Berwyn.

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A Barrington Hills man found dead in a burning car last month in Chicago was beaten to death, an autopsy found. James Gerage suffered multiple injuries due to assault, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office. Courtesy of ABC 7 Chicago
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