(MCT) — A father in the middle of a divorce and his 4-year-old son -- described as "a walking joy" -- were found dead this week in their Yorkville home, police said today.
Police found Joseph R. Schmitt, 35, and his son, Wyland, in the garage of the home in the 300 block of Bertram Dr. on Wednesday during a well-being check, according to family members and police.
Schmitt’s body was found on the floor of the garage at his home, and his son was found unrestrained in a chair nearby, according to Kendall County Coroner Ken Toftoy. Schmitt’s SUV was not running when authorities entered the garage, but Toftoy said investigators believe the vehicle had been running.
“The key was in the ignition in the on position and the gas tank was empty,” Toftoy said.
Toftoy said there were no signs of trauma to either body, and the home was locked when police arrived.
He said the family told investigators that Schmitt underwent back surgery about six weeks ago, but said his investigators did not find any medications or painkillers near the bodies.
Toftoy said he did not know whether there was any note found, and referred questions to police. He said autopsies on both victims were expected to be completed late Friday morning, and would not speculate on a cause or manner of death.
However, he reassured neighbors that “there appears to be no danger to people in the community.”
Schmitt and his wife, Kyle Weber, were in the process of getting a divorce, records show.
Kyle Weber's close friend Jennifer Curtin spoke on behalf of the family Thursday after leaving Weber's home in a heavily wooded area of Naperville.
She described Wyland as “a walking joy” who loved his family and enjoyed swimming, Legos and playing video games on his Leapster.
“He was the happiest little boy I've ever met,” Curtin said as her eyes filled with tears. “He had a smile that lit up the room. He had this high-pitched squeal of a laugh whenever he was excited and his voice would get so loud.”
Curtin said Weber is “a devoted mother” who is “devastated beyond words and will never be the same.”
“She said today that the four years he was there was the best four years of her life,” Curtin said.
Curtin said the families are grieving and ask the public to be respectful of their loss.
A pumpkin and Halloween lights adorned the front of the single-family residence in Yorkville on Thursday. The neighborhood is a relatively new development, a mix of single-family and town homes.
A neighbor who didn’t wish to be identified said he rarely saw the residents of the home. He said that on Wednesday he saw an ambulance and, later, police tape at the home.