Victims identified in apparent murder-suicide, fire in Oak Lawn

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The man suspected of killing his father, mother, and nephew, and then starting a fire, is believed to have carried out the crimes after his nephew’s fifth birthday party.

36 year-old John Conta, Jr. appears to have shot John Conta, Sr., 68 year-old Janice Conta, and Matt Meier at his parent’s home in Oak Lawn. The elder Conta’s were the young boy’s grandparents. Authorities say Conta, Jr. then started a fire with gasoline in the basement.

A firefighter actually saw Conta, Jr. commit suicide inside a car in the garage.

Police say he used a gun that belonged to his dad, and they found other weapons amongst the demolished house.

They say he may have been suffering from mental illness, and went to Russia at one point to be a potato farmer.

Autopsies will be done Thursday.

WGN News Writer C. Hayes published this story.

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