Officials: Elgin man killed mom after being told his music was too loud, then dismembered body – Chicago Tribune
Angered after being told he was playing Jimi Hendrix music too loudly, an Elgin man allegedly killed his mother, dismembered her body and then disposed of the remains along Chicago’s lakefront in luggage and a duffel bag he had hurriedly purchased, Cook County prosecutors said Tuesday.
Brian Peck, 55, on Tuesday afternoon was ordered held without bail after being charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death, authorities said. Cook County Judge Steven Goebel, at the Rolling Meadows courthouse, said Peck posed an extreme threat to the general public.
Testing is still underway to positively identify if a body found Saturday in a lagoon in Chicago’s Lincoln Park is that of Gail Peck, 76, police said. But authorities said there is enough evidence to charge Brian Peck. The mother and son lived together in a home in the 700 block of Littleton Trail in Elgin.
According to police and officials from the Cook County medical examiner’s office, the body parts found in duffel bags by a fisherman and divers at the Lincoln Park lagoon included only a torso and parts of two legs. The torso had back surgery scars, which were believed similar to those Gail Peck had. Brian Peck told authorities he also disposed part of the body at Montrose Harbor, where police were investigating on Tuesday.
DuPage County court records show that last year, Brian Peck pleaded guilty to domestic battery and received a jail sentence and probation after his mother told police her son threatened to kill her. She had requested an order of protection in 2016 but later lifted the request, records show.
Gail Peck initially was reported missing last week. But police said they began doubting Brian Peck’s story not long after he told police Friday afternoon that his mother had gone for a walk with her dog, Doris, and that the dog had come back in its own.
The public was notified the woman was missing just before 4:30 p.m. following the 3:30 p.m. call from Brian Peck.
Police, civilian emergency response teams, K9 units, a drone and a helicopter were used Friday night to search for the woman in far east Elgin, near Shales Parkway and East Chicago Street.
However, police scaled back that search by about 9 p.m. that night. By Saturday morning, police said they had narrowed the search and no longer needed the public’s help.
“Information received began to suggest that Gail Peck’s disappearance may not have occurred as reported. As additional information was obtained, more investigative resources were devoted to the possibility of the case being criminal in nature,” said Elgin Assistant Police Chief Bill Wolf in a prepared statement.
In court Tuesday, prosecutors said Gail Peck was slain early Wednesday, Oct. 25. According to prosecutors, Peck told investigators his mother had called him upstairs from the basement of their home about 3:30 a.m. and complained he was playing Jimi Hendrix music too loudly. During an ensuing argument, Gail Peck took out a military knife and threatened her son with it, he told police.
The 6-foot-1, 260-pound Brian Peck knocked the legs out from under his 5-foot-4, 140-pound mother and then stomped on her legs and neck, prosecutors said. He realized he had killed her and then took the body to the bath tub and began dismembering it with a saw, prosecutors said.
His initial plan was to hide the remains in a basement refrigerator, but during the process, the refrigerator broke, prosecutors said. So Peck purchased a new set of luggage and a duffel bag at a Walmart and used them to transport the body into Chicago, where he disposed of it, prosecutors said.
Peck, according to prosecutors, told the family cleaning lady not to come to the house on Friday to clean, prosecutors said. Peck told police that blood found in his mother’s bedroom was from a fall the woman had. Blood also was found in the trunk of the family car, prosecutors said.
The case against Peck was presented by Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Maria McCarthy.
Peck appeared in court in blue jail scrubs and wore orange athletic shoes. He told the judge he had no money and needed a public defender. Prosecutors said Peck had attended the University of Illinois-Chicago and had operated a financial business up until two years ago. Brian was Gail’s only child, McCarthy said.
On Monday, Elgin police announced the possible connection between Gail Peck and the body parts found in Chicago.
Chicago police have supplied personnel and equipment to Elgin detectives throughout the search, which has taken investigators around the city.
“We’re just offering them support for resources they don’t have, but it’s their investigation,” said Officer Nicole Trainor, a spokeswoman for Chicago police.
After dive searches were called off near the lagoon during the weekend, a dive team on Tuesday was searching in an area near Chicago’s Montrose Beach.
“CPD has provided divers to search for evidence,” Trainor said Tuesday.
On Saturday, Wolf said, “Elgin detectives learned of a body discovered in a lagoon area near Lincoln Park in Chicago. Chicago Police Department detectives were contacted and began working with our detectives as to the possibility that the body found was Gail Peck. Evidence that the body was that of Gail Peck was obtained after thorough research by investigators, and DNA testing is also currently being conducted to verify this evidence.”
A Cook County medical examiner’s office spokeswoman on Tuesday said testing was ongoing and no new information was available.
In 2016, Gail Peck asked DuPage County Court officials for her second order of protection from her son, Brian Peck, according to DuPage County court files. That request was lifted at her request, according to court documents. The two had shared a home in Oak Brook.
In 2016, Brian Peck pleaded guilty to domestic battery after his mother told police he threatened to kill her, punched her in the face and attempted to choke her. He was sentenced to two years of probation, according to DuPage County Circuit Court records.
While he was in jail, his mother visited him and told him “that he crossed the line when he became violent with me and that he was no longer my son and that I never want contact with him again,” according to DuPage Court documents.
He pleaded guilty on June 3, 2016, served 100 days in the DuPage County Jail, and was released with the no-contact order on June 11. He also received 24 months of probation.
In 2013, he pleaded guilty to felony aggravated battery charged after punching a firefighter and a police officer, court records show. He was sentenced to 146 days in DuPage County Jail and one year of probation.