Police mum on investigation of 'suspicious deaths' in Antioch

Updated 10/30/2013 6:41 PM
  • Billy Varner

    Billy Varner

The search continues for a 54-year-old man wanted for questioning in connection with two "suspicious" deaths near downtown Antioch, authorities said Wednesday.

Police remain tight-lipped about the investigation into the deaths of two women -- aged 82 and 61 -- Monday in an apartment in the 1200 block of Main Street, and efforts to find Billy Varner, who authorities say is to related to the victims.

Police Chief Craig Somerville released an emailed statement Wednesday in which he expressed "my deepest condolences to the family members traumatized by this terrible event,"

Sommerville did not answer questions or provide any details about the case.

"I am grateful for our cooperative working relationship with the Lake County Major Crime Task Force, the Lake County Coroner's Office, and the Lake County State's Attorney's office during this ongoing investigation," he said in the release. "Collectively, we are working diligently to run down leads and coordinating communication and resources to quickly bring this incident to conclusion."

Autopsies were scheduled Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning on the victims, but no information about the results or their identities have been released by the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force and the Lake County Coroner's Office. The task force was called in Monday to assist with the investigation.

A $500,000 arrest warrant remains active for Varner. Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Scheller said the warrant is for unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle.

George Filenko, chief of the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, said Tuesday that police want to ask Varner about the deaths because, "He was probably one of the last persons to see both women alive."

Scheller confirmed Varner is related to the victims, but would not provide details.

Varner is described as a white male who was last seen driving a 2002 tan Chevy extended conversion van with the registration N943872. The van has damage to the rear passenger-side taillight area, officials had said in a news release.

Police warn that Varner should not be approached. If anyone sees him, they are urged to call 911 or the Antioch Police Department at (847) 395-8585.

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