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Two held in Brown's murders
DNA evidence links one of them to 9-year-old crime, reports say
Robert McCoppin | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 3/28/2007

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First published: May 17, 2002

Two suspects in the Brown's Chicken massacre in Palatine were in custody Wednesday, according to news reports.

The two men were implicated by a girlfriend and matched to DNA evidence in the case, according to CBS 2 News.

Police refused to confirm the story. Palatine Police Sgt. Mike Seebacher said only one man was in custody at the Palatine police station, on an unrelated matter, and had no further comment.

It has been more than nine years since seven people were found shot to death in the freezer of the Brown's Chicken & Pasta on Jan. 8, 1993.

Investigators had filed no charges in the case, but considered it "active," and two investigators were working full-time on a task force that continued to investigate the case.

Without identifying any sources, CBS 2 News reported a girlfriend of one of the men talked to police on an unrelated matter in March, and told authorities the two suspects had confessed to her that they committed the murders.

Police reportedly questioned the men, who both denied any involvement, and got saliva samples from them. Last week, CBS 2 News reported, a match was made to the DNA from saliva on chicken found in the trash at the restaurant on the night of the crime.

CBS 2 News also reported a second confidential informant said both men confessed. That informant had previously provided an alibi for at least one suspect in the case, but reportedly admitted to police that was a lie.

The two men were expected to appear in court for a bond hearing in Chicago this weekend, CBS 2 News reported.

The atmosphere among officers at the Palatine police station was extremely guarded but upbeat. Officers said they did not know about any developments in the case, and would be happy if there were arrests, but had heard too many previous false reports to get their hopes up prematurely.

Frank Portillo, former owner of the Brown's, said of the reports, "I was delighted. I had put closure to this a couple of years ago and prayed that something like this would happen."