Independent investigation launched in Schiller Park deaths

SCHILLER PARK, Ill. -- Follow up on our Schiller Park investigation: WGN Investigates learned the same night candidate Nick Caiafa appears to have won the mayoral seat. The Cook County Sheriff's Office confirmed to us that it's opened an independent investigation into the deaths of Caiafa's two previous girlfriends.

Caiafa's unofficially leading 55 percent to 45 percent against incumbent Barbara Piltaver tonight.

Our reports focused on the Schiller Park Police Department investigations, in which a former assistant state attorney and federal prosecutor called shockingly sparse, after reviewing the police reports WGN Investigates obtained.

For example, the reports show the police department never interviewed any of the dead women's family members. The police investigators only interviewed Caiafa.

Family members of the deceased women were angry after we showed them the police reports. They said Caiafa told police things that were not true.

Caiafa told WGN Investigates off camera the police reports attributed things to him that he never said.

We repeatedly requested an on camera interview with Caiafa and the Schiller Park Police Department chief, who happens to be Caiafa's best friend, and both declined.

Caiafa sits on the Board of Fire & Police Commissioners, which is charge of hiring and firing at the departments.

However, after our reports aired, the Schiller Park Police Department did then write a Facebook response that was placed door-to-door in the village. It accused WGN TV News of an inaccurate reporting and bias during an election cycle.

WGN TV News stands by the accuracy of the reports.

The police department Facebook response went on to say that several outside agencies looked at the deaths in Caiafa's life and declined to launch independent investigations.

When WGN Investigates requested through the Freedom of Information Act documents proof the police department reached out to the agencies along with their responses, the village of Schiller Park responded that there were no documents available pertaining to our request.

Tuesday night though, a different story being told by the Cook County Sheriff's Department spokesperson who told WGN Investigates, "Our detectives started a case review and the investigation is currently ongoing."

WGN Investigates will continue to follow-up as we learn more.