Skeletal remains found near McHenry; homeowner charged

WOODSTOCK – The owner of a home near McHenry where the skeletal remains of a woman were found earlier this week has been charged with concealing her death, according to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office.

William J. Ross, 62, of 518 N. Country Club Drive, remains at the Clark County Correctional Facility in Las Vegas, Nev., on a felony charge of concealment of a homicidal death.

Deputies were called to the residence near McHenry in an unincorporated area of the county around 2 p.m. Wednesday after the caretaker of the home found skeletal remains inside a bedroom of the home, Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said.

The woman, who has not yet been identified, appeared to have been dead for some time. A criminal complaint filed in McHenry County Court said Ross put the body in a plastic bag and sealed the room where her remains were found.

Investigators learned that no one had been living in the home for more than a year and a half, Zinke said. The caretaker had maintained the exterior of the property for more than a year.

The homeowner was identified as Ross, Zinke said, and through the use of telephone records, it was determined that he was residing in the Las Vegas area.

The U.S. Marshals Service and police in Las Vegas took Ross into custody Thursday.

The McHenry County Coroner's Office said an autopsy was performed Thursday, but they released no information about the case on Friday.

“Our focus is on identifying the victim and notifying the family,” Zinke said. “This is an ongoing homicide investigation with a lot of unanswered questions. We are hopeful to bring closure to someone’s family relatively soon.”

Bob Jones, a neighbor of Ross' in McHenry, said he believed a woman had been living in Ross' residence for a couple of years. More than a year ago, Jones no longer saw her around the neighborhood.

"She was living there, and then everybody thought she had moved out because you only saw [Ross]; you didn't see her anymore," Jones said.

Soon after, Ross moved out of the residence as well, Jones said.

Bond for Ross has been set at $100,000.

• Reporters Jim Dallke and Shawn Shinneman contributed to this report.

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