Slain Rolling Meadows man's son: Two suspects expressed condolences to him after dad disappeared
A 76-year-old Rolling Meadows man walked into a death trap set by two brothers who rented a home from him on Chicago's South Side, Cook County prosecutors said Monday.
Elijah Green, 25, and Tony Green, 22, of the 6200 block of South May Street in Chicago, face first-degree murder charges in the Aug. 4 strangling of Vasudevareddy Kethireddy. The victim's body was found Friday in a sewer near the murder suspects' home, nearly eight weeks after his family reported him missing, authorities said.
The Greens made videotaped statements to Chicago police admitting their roles in the slaying, prosecutors said.
Kethireddy's son, Shantan Kethireddy, who attended the pair's bond court hearing Monday, called their arrest a "relief," after weeks of investigation by Rolling Meadows and Chicago police, and the assistance of community activist Andrew Holmes.
"It was really difficult for me to imagine what sorts of things happened in these guys' lives" before the slaying of the 76-year-old father with a disability, Shantan Kethireddy said.
During the court hearing Monday, prosecutors provided a detailed account of what they said were the siblings' actions before and after Vasudevareddy Kethireddy's death. A judge ordered the pair held without bail after the hearing.
According to prosecutors, the Greens were overheard by a witness discussing a plot to lure Kethireddy to their rented home by claiming their roof was leaking.
Kethireddy arrived at the home Aug. 4 and was led to the back of the building by Tony Green, according to prosecutors. Elijah Green then came up behind Kethireddy, placed him in a chokehold and cut off his breathing until he died, prosecutors say.
Elijah Green was seen by a witness leaving the home while carrying Kethireddy over a shoulder, authorities say, while his brother later helped carry the Rolling Meadows man's body down some stairs.
The Greens later that day drove around with Kethireddy's body in his 2005 Toyota Prius in what turned out to be an unsuccessful search for a spot to dump him, authorities said Monday. They returned to a location near their May Street home and left Kethireddy in the back seat covered by a sheet, taking $1,600 cash they found in the car and returning home, according to a prosecutor.
It's believed that late Aug. 4 or early Aug. 5 the Greens placed Kethireddy's body down a sewer in front of their home and then used his credit cards at neighborhood businesses, prosecutors said.
Police said they located Kethireddy's body Friday morning after learning a witness using a phone number registered to Tony Green performed Google searches on how long it takes a body to decompose in sewage.
Shantan Kethireddy told the Daily Herald he met the Green brothers four days after his father's disappearance, and they exchanged handshakes and hugs and the pair expressed their condolences. Later during the investigation, police executed a search warrant at the brothers' apartment when investigators began to suspect their involvement. Three hours later, the son said they called him to have their broken door lock fixed.
"We did that night, even knowing they were prime suspects," Shantan Kethireddy said.
He says his father immigrated to the United States from Hyderabad, India, in 1971 and lived in Rolling Meadows since 1977. He got involved in real estate in the mid-1990s and started buying multiunit houses in the Englewood area in the mid-2000s, rehabbing the properties and renting them out.
Authorities said detectives seized Elijah Green at the May Street home Saturday. Police returned to arrest Tony Green at the home Sunday. The Greens are scheduled to return to court Friday.
Shantan Kethireddy said his dad was known for making lists, and a recent one was about focusing on faith and spirituality.
"Because of that, I think it's important we're not harboring any hate and try to focus on forgiveness. Our intention is to finish his list," his son said. "I'm not going to feel one way or another about these people."