Pond near scene of Palos Twp. slayings searched
BY STEVE METSCH firstname.lastname@example.org September 15, 2011 12:24PM
A dive team looks for evidence in a pond next to the Granat residence on the 12700 block of 81st Court in Palos Township, Ill., on Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011. | Matt Marton~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 10, 2011 10:43AM
After searching for about five hours Thursday in a pond next to the Palos Township house where a couple were found beaten to death over the weekend, investigators and Cook County officials are not saying what, if anything, was found that might be pertinent to the case.
The pond is just south of the home where the dead bodies of John and Maria Granat were found Sunday morning.
Their son, John Granat, 17, a senior at Stagg High School, has been charged with first-degree murder in their deaths. He is being held without bail.
Personnel from at least a half-dozen Southland fire departments were at the pond searching the shoreline, wading through the murky waters and scanning the pond from a boat. At least two divers were seen searching below the water’s surface.
Palos Fire Protection District Chief Steve Carr, who delivered water and pop to searchers late Thursday morning, said the search had yielded “odds and ends.”
Asked whether a murder weapon was among them, he said, “Who knows?
“Whatever they found is between them and the county sheriff. They are the specialists,” Carr said.
The Cook County medical examiner has ruled that both parents died after suffering multiple blunt force injuries. Maria Granat also suffered stab wounds.
Cook County Sheriff’s office spokesman Steve Patterson said no murder weapon had been found as of Thursday morning.
A call to the sheriff’s office late Thursday afternoon was not returned.
A police source told the SouthtownStar on Wednesday that a hammer had been used as a weapon. Patterson repeatedly said Thursday that investigators had not determined that.
“There is not a single person involved in this investigation who can say with any certainty ... it’s a hammer,” Patterson said.
Carr said searchers may have visited another site Thursday.
“They indicated this morning that their plan was to come here and possibly (search) the Cal Sag,” Carr said of the man-made channel about a mile north of the Granat home.
Granat was stopped just south of the Calumet Sag Channel, at 122nd Street and Harlem Avenue, by Palos Heights police for a broken taillight at 5:17 a.m. Sunday.
Several searchers questioned as they left the pond Thursday declined comment when asked if they had found anything relating to the investigation.
The pond is on a two-acre lot south of the Granats’ home in the 12700 block of 81st Court. The property belongs to a neighbor, and the pond is slightly downhill from the neighbor’s house. A fountain in the pond, which normally runs around the clock, was turned off during the search.
While divers were in the pond, several other people lined the pond’s shore. The water was chest-high on one searcher who could be seen walking through the pond. One man waded in carrying a large white bucket into which a diver put an unidentified object.
Vehicles from the Lockport Township dive team and Palos Heights Fire Protection District water rescue unit were parked on 81st Court, which was closed to through traffic, along with vehicles from at least four other area fire departments.
The search ended at about 12:45 p.m. and searchers packed up their gear.
The pond, with a small island in the center, “has been there as long as I can recollect, and I was born in ’55,” Carr said. “We used to swim in that pond as kids. I’m sure a lot of things have been thrown into that pond.”