Neighbor: Elgin man on trial complained about his mother two months before her murder

  • Brian Peck

    Brian Peck

Updated 1/28/2022 6:36 PM

The president of Gail Peck's Elgin homeowner's association testified Friday that Peck's son Brian complained about having to care for his 76-old-old mother about two months before her partial remains were discovered in a Chicago lagoon.

Testifying for the prosecution in Brian Peck's murder trial, Susan Novak said she met Gail in August 2017 and later introduced herself to Brian, who lived with his mother in her one-story townhouse.


"I should be out enjoying my life," Novak testified Peck told her, "but I've had to take care of my mother for the last four years instead of enjoying my time."

Brian Peck, 59, is charged with killing Gail on Oct. 25, 2017, after authorities say they fought over loud music. They say Peck dismembered her body and deposited the remains in Lake Michigan. Three days later, a fisherman found Gail Peck's partial remains in Chicago's Lincoln Park Lagoon.

Peck, who is being held without bail at Cook County jail, has pleaded not guilty. His attorneys say he acted in self-defense.

Sgt. Heather Lencioni was among 80 Elgin officers, detectives and administrators who responded to Brian Peck's 911 call about 3:40 p.m. on Oct. 27, 2017, reporting his mother missing. He told officers his mother left their Littleton Trail home to walk her dog about 12:45 p.m. The dog returned but she did not, he said.

Lencioni testified when she arrived at the Peck home about 6 p.m., Brian Peck was eating pizza and watching TV. The detective said she detected a strong odor of cleaning products "emanating from the house." She also testified she noticed a reddish-brown stain on a section of the master bedroom carpet and reddish-brown spatter on a chair and footstool. Nearby was a bottle of carpet cleaner, and over the stain were fresh vacuum marks, Lencioni said.

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According to Lencioni, when she asked Peck what happened the day he reported his mother missing, he instead told her about a dinner they shared at a Schaumburg restaurant on Oct. 24, 2017. She testified that Peck said he asked Gail to dress up and wear her best jewelry. Lencioni said Peck told her he believed someone saw them dining and followed them intending a robbery or kidnapping.

Lencioni testified that she asked him what he thought might have happened to his mother and he responded: "the absolute worst."

Prosecutors played a recording of Lencioni and other officers questioning the garrulous Peck, whose responses included meandering monologues about family finances, their move from Oak Brook to Elgin, his love of music and guitars and his mother's dog, among other topics.

He told them the carpet stain in his mother's bedroom occurred after she dropped a plate, knelt to pick it up and cut her knee on cutlery. He said his failed attempts to remove the stain made it worse.

Testimony continues Monday in Rolling Meadows.

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