NEWS

Villa Park man sought in death of his parents

Sarah Meisch

Police are seeking a man they say killed his parents Monday at their shared home in Villa Park.

Artur Shehu, 33, is considered armed and dangerous, authorities said.

Police discovered the bodies of 66-year-old Syrja Shehu and 67-year-old Safo Shehu in a house in the first block of West Ridge Road. Artur Shehu lived there with his parents, police said.

Autopsies are scheduled to be performed today, according to the DuPage County coroner's office.

The Villa Park Police Department, in conjunction with the DuPage County Major Crimes Task Force, is looking for Artur Shehu, who's described as a white man with brown hair and brown eyes, standing 5 feet 9 inches and weighing 195 pounds, police said.

He previously was believed to be driving a white taxi or a 2001 four-door Volkswagen, but both of those vehicles have been located near the lakefront in Chicago, Villa Park Police Chief John Payne said.

If anyone sees Artur Shehu, police caution them to not approach him but call 911 immediately.

North Elementary School is located near the Shehus' home. As police officers surrounded the house early Monday, North School students were brought to Jefferson Middle School to start their school day, then shuttled to various schools in District 45 as the activity at the house continued during the morning, district Superintendent William Schewe said.

The district was notified at 6:45 a.m. by Villa Park police that a SWAT team would be going in the house near the school, Schewe said. District officials and police decided to have students report elsewhere for their first morning back from the holiday vacation.

"It was a mutual decision," he said.

At about 8:15 a.m., police notified the district that the activity at the house would continue for three more hours. At that time, students in kindergarten through third grade were sent to Schaffer School; the fourth grade was sent to Ardmore School; and the fifth grade was sent to Westmore, Schewe said.

"We're hoping it will end and we can return them to North," he said.

The school had not officially been closed for the day, he said.

Linda Stodola, who lives on the first block of West Ridge Road, said Monday morning that police hadn't told residents what was going on.

"They won't tell us anything," Stodola said. "There's something at the end of the block, close to the school."

The street had been closed, she said, and residents were told if they left the area, they wouldn't be able to come back until the police action was over. Stodola opted to stay home.

"They haven’t said leave your house," she said. "It's like there are G.I. Joes out there. It's kind of strange."

Residents also hadn't been told to stay inside, although police were recommending it, Stodola said.

"There are a lot of people walking around, wondering what's going on," she said.

Police distributed news releases at about 11 a.m. but didn't speak to the media or residents, said Eddie Soriano, whose niece and nephew attend North School. He stood near police tape cordoning off a section of Ridge Road, a street populated by small, older homes and an apartment building.

"It's pretty scary,” Soriano said.