Brothers Found Dead in Highland Park House Fire Were Shot Multiple Times: Tragic Discovery Unfolds

Highland Park, Illinois – Two brothers were tragically discovered deceased in a house fire early Wednesday morning. The Lake County Coroner’s office confirmed that Marc Austwick, 63, of Lake Forest, and John Austwick, 60, of Mundelein, succumbed to multiple gunshot wounds. The distressing incident prompted a swift response from multiple fire departments as flames engulfed the residence in the 1700 block of Park Avenue West before 4 a.m.

The intensity of the fire necessitated the assistance of seven neighboring fire departments to extinguish the blaze. Residents in the vicinity were jolted awake by alerts from the City of Highland Park, with one neighbor, Julie Smith, expressing concern for her former neighbors upon hearing the news. The investigation unveiled the lifeless bodies of the two brothers outside the burning house, both bearing suspicious injuries.

As the daylight revealed smoke still billowing from the charred remains of the home, Smith recalled memories of the family and their deceased mother, who recently passed away. The Austwick family mostly kept to themselves, with only memories of friendly interactions between their yellow lab and Smith’s own canine. The property, which had been listed for sale over six months ago, raised questions about the circumstances surrounding the tragic event.

Law enforcement agencies including Highland Park police, the U.S. Marshal K9, the Illinois State Fire Marshal, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives converged at the scene to conduct thorough investigations. Despite the gravity of the situation, the Coroner’s office refrained from categorizing the brothers’ deaths as homicides, leaving the community on edge.

Both the fire and death probes are ongoing, with authorities assuring residents that the incident is isolated and poses no immediate threat. Although no arrests were made as of Wednesday night, law enforcement officials reported significant progress in unraveling the events leading to the brothers’ demise. The homicide-suicide aspect of the case remained under scrutiny as detectives worked diligently to piece together the harrowing puzzle.