Arrest Made In 2016 Sycamore Killing

Feb 25, 2020

Jonathan D. Hurst
Credit DeKalb County Sheriff's Department

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that Jonathan D. Hurst, formerly of Chicago and currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio, has been arrested for the 2016 murders of rural Sycamore residents Patricia and Robert Wilson. The Sheriff's Office said Hurst was taken into custody on Monday by Cincinnati Police and is currently  being held in the Hamilton County Jail. He will be extradited to DeKalb County, where he will face two counts of First Degree Murder. 

85-year-old Patricia Wilson and her 64-year-old son Robert were found dead in their home on Old State Road in rural Sycamore on August 15, 2016 by Sheriff's police. Investigators determined they had died August 14, the night before, as the result of blunt force trauma.

Leads at the time were few. A car belonging to the Wilsons was spotted on a traffic camera at the intersection of  Illinois Routes 64 and 59 the night of the murders just after midnight. It was later found abandoned near the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. 

The Sheriff’s Office said it was able to track down Hurst after almost four years of investigation by using genealogical mapping tools based on physical evidence found at the scene to identify a suspect. Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan described the partnership that found him:

“The Sheriff's Office enlisted the help from a private laboratory called Parabon which special specializes in DNA phenotyping. Detectives from the Sheriff's Office along with Parabon continued to investigate the genealogical side of the case and search public genealogy databases and the effort to narrow down the scope of the DNA profile and subsequently built a family tree that eventually led to this individual from that DNA profile.”

DeKalb Co. Sheriff's Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan (left) announces Hurst's arrest as DeKalb Co. State's Attorney Rick Amato looks on.
Credit Chase Cavanaugh

Officials said those, along with cell phone records and other evidence linking Hurst to the murder scene and the stolen vehicle, were used to eventually pinpoint him as a suspect in the killings. The Sheriff's Office was unable to comment on possible motives for the homicides. 

Guy Stephens and Chase Cavanaugh contributed to this report.

Update: The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office issued a press release to correct the spelling of Mr. Hurst's first name from Johnathan to Jonathan.