Lakeshore News Tonight

Lowell Man Suspect in Parents’ Murders

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October 21, 2013 — Tonight Lake County Police are looking for evidence in connection to a double homicide.

Police have identified Lowell homeowners as murder victims and named their son as a suspect in the crime.

After checking on the welfare of two residents on west 197th Avenue near Lowell Friday, police found their bodies inside, severely decomposed.

Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey says the preliminary autopsy included the use of dental records due to the advanced state of the deceased, “Both had blunt force trauma and the wife had strangulation.

Investigators identified the victims as 68-year-old Clifford Snow, a retired Hammond teacher, and his 66-year-old wife, Joyce.

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says their son, 34-year-old Thomas Snow, was in and about the house during the time his deceased parents were inside, and he took off in their vehicle.

Buncich says, “Our detectives started tracking his whereabouts Friday evening.  He became a person of interest when he began using his parent’s credit cards during that day and the days prior to the discovery of the bodies.”

Police conducted the welfare check on the Snow family after a daughter, who lives out of state, contacted them.  It is unknown how long they were dead, but Buncich says they left about two weeks worth of newspapers outside the door.

Police immediately named the younger Snow as a person of interest and issued an all points bulletin in search of him.

A day later police in northwest Minnesota, near the North Dakota border, picked him up on a traffic stop.  Sheriff Buncich says Thomas Snow has a history of substance abuse and theft, “Thomas Snow was identified as having committing an armed robbery in Newton County on Thursday October 17, 2013 a day before the bodies were discovered.”

Lake County Prosecutor Bernard carter says he is not expecting charges to be filed until police gather more evidence.  He says Thomas Snow is in the process of being extradited from Hawley, Minnesota to Newton County, and he’s hoping to work with the prosecutor’s office there, “They would make arguments in our behalf that we have an ongoing criminal invest for a possible homicide and ask that the bail be set high or no bail.”

A neighbor of the Snow family says she still remembers when the family moved into the area.  Christine Stegenga says, “I asked him why he moved out here, and he said it was because it was so peaceful.  I said, ‘What made you come out here?’  He said, ‘Stop, listen.’  So I stopped, and listened and it was quiet.  He said, ‘That’s it.  That’s why I moved out here. because it was peaceful.’”


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