Family of man found dead in burning van seeks answers

CHICAGO -- On September 2, two bodies were found dead in a burning minivan. They were not immediately identified, but today the family of the one the victims is going public, seeking answers about what happened.

The family of Jose Suarez held a news conference Tuesday where the van was found in Little Village neighborhood, where Suarez worked as a mechanic.

The family is frustrated. They say they don’t understand why his body has not been released to them and why they can’t get information. They say they want to bury the body as soon as possible.

Community activist Andrew Holmes is now involved. He is trying to help the family understand how a death investigation works. Holmes said he is being told that police, bomb and arson investigators are on the case. But he is cautioning the family that this is going to take time. This is not an easy investigation.

“It’s been a back and forth thing. I need more communication from everybody,” said Suarez’s daughter, Maria.

Suarez said investigators are using DNA to definitely identify the victims. Holmes said the delays caused by such testing are typical of this type of case.

“That DNA process is not gonna take a week, it’s not gonna take two weeks, it may take 30 days or it may take 60 days and I just want the family to be prepared for that,” he said.

These bodies were burned beyond recognition, so it’s going to take some time. Police tell us the investigation in ongoing.