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  1. #1
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    Default Bodies swept ashore are dad, 2 sons

    By Rick Jervis and Carlos Sadovi
    Tribune staff reporters
    Published June 21, 2004

    PLEASANT PRAIRIE, Wis. -- Three bodies that were found washed up on the Lake Michigan shoreline over the weekend were identified as a Chicago father and his two young sons who vanished last month, police said.

    The body of Kevin L. Amde, 45, was found tethered by a nylon rope to his sons Tesla, 3, and Davinci, 6, and to backpacks containing nearly 50 pounds of sand.

    Amde and his sons were last seen May 6 when he took Tesla to pick up Davinci from his Chicago school, police said. Amde told his wife, Veronica, that he was picking up the boy and would return shortly, police said.

    Because the father was known to take his boys on short spur-of-the-moment trips, his wife wasn't too worried until they failed to return to their home five days later. On May 11, she filed a missing person's report, Chicago police said.

    The three bodies were found just after 11 a.m. Saturday by a passerby on the beach at 108th Street and Lakeshore Drive in Pleasant Prairie, which is just over the Wisconsin border. They were fully clothed and tied to one another with the rope, which was passed through their belt loops and around their waists, Pleasant Prairie Police Chief Brian Wagner said.

    Two children's backpacks were also entangled in the rope. Inside each backpack, one bearing a Spider-Man logo, were sealed plastic bags filled with 24 pounds of sand, police said. Pants pockets of one of the children were also filled with sand and zipped closed, they said.

    The cause of death has not been determined, but police said they are investigating the case as a homicide.

    Deaths `very suspicious'

    "We consider these deaths to be very suspicious," Wagner said at a news conference.
    ...snip

    Police would not say where Amde was employed. He did a "variety of things," they said.

    Chicago police said the family had asked that personal information not be released to the media.

    Family members would not comment when reached at their South Side home and said they would release a statement later.

    Police said the Amdes were not estranged and described the couple as happy and content.
    ...snip

    The bodies did not have outward signs of trauma and there were no signs of struggle by the children, Wagner said.

    Bodies fully clothed
    ...snip

    Records show Amde also went by another name, Kevin Williamson, and had previous addresses in Nevada, North Carolina and California. In 1996 a California court put a lien on his property for an outstanding debt, records show.

    Wagner stressed that the investigation is ongoing and that there are many unanswered questions, starting with whether Amde and his sons were dead before entering the water. The family did not own a boat, Wagner said.

    Results of autopsies being conducted by the Kenosha County medical examiner may be ready by Monday, he said.

    Wagner said detectives are also interviewing relatives.

    "We will continue to do that and see where that takes us," he said.

    Police will also try to find out where the three went into the lake.
    ...snip

    "It's such a strange case," said Bill Siel of Kenosha who was cycling Sunday along the shoreline where the bodies came ashore. "It's tragic for certain."


    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed
    Never let the children, Elders, the sick, or the infirm be exploited.


    "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." Oliver Goldsmith


    Let's bring all our missing and military home safely!


    All of my thoughts written here are my constitutionally protected opinion.

    I reject any form of government in which the opinion of the village idiot is given the same weight as the opinion of Aristotle. (author unknown)


  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Autopsy rules boys' drownings homicide

    By Carlos Sadovi and M. Daniel Gibbard
    Tribune staff reporters
    Published June 22, 2004

    A Chicago man and his two sons whose bodies washed up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin had drowned and were in the water for more than a month, according to autopsies performed Monday.

    The Kenosha County medical examiner's office ruled the deaths of Davinci Amde, 6, and his brother Tesla, 3, homicides two days after their bodies were found in Pleasant Prairie, tethered to the body of their father, Kevin Amde, 45.

    Police believe that the father was battling depression caused by the family's impending eviction from their Humboldt Park apartment and other financial problems.
    ...snip

    They are waiting to determine if the case could be classified as a murder-suicide, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office said. Two backpacks, each containing 24 pounds of sand, were found with the bodies. The pants pocket of one of the boys had also been filled with sand.

    "The kids' [deaths] have been ruled homicide," the spokesman said, adding that the father's case may be classified differently. "[Suicide] is what the police investigation points toward. We have to make sure we complete everything."
    ...snip

    Veronica Amde, the mother of the boys and the man's wife, reported her husband and sons missing to Chicago police on May 11. She told police the three were last seen May 6, but she was not worried until they failed to return to their Humboldt Park apartment five days later. The father was known to take the boys on spur-of-the-moment trips, police said Sunday.
    ...snip

    The Amde family was notified last month that they would be evicted from their apartment this week, according to the daughter of the landlord, who manages the building for her father. She said they had not paid their rent for nearly three months.

    Since the family moved to the apartment about nine months ago, it had tried to put off the eviction by paying a portion of the $675 rent, but would fall behind, said the woman, who asked that her name not be used.

    Veronica Amde also asked for more time, saying she was selling the family's furniture to save money so they could move to Las Vegas or North Carolina, where the couple had lived in the past, the woman said.
    ...snip

    Nancy Olivo, who lives across from the family's 1st-floor apartment, said Veronica Amde worried about her family while they were missing. A drawing of a clown, made by the older boy, as an art project, remained tacked to the family's front door Monday.

    "She said she put it on the door so she could see it when she came home," Olivo said. "She said she just wanted her kids back, she would do anything to get the kids back. She was all day crying. She just wanted the police to find them."

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...l=chi-news-hed
    Never let the children, Elders, the sick, or the infirm be exploited.


    "I love everything that's old: old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old wines." Oliver Goldsmith


    Let's bring all our missing and military home safely!


    All of my thoughts written here are my constitutionally protected opinion.

    I reject any form of government in which the opinion of the village idiot is given the same weight as the opinion of Aristotle. (author unknown)




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