SYCAMORE – A Cincinnati man charged with first-degree murder in the 2016 double homicide of a Sycamore mother and son remains in jail after a DeKalb County judge decided to hold him without bond.
Jonathan D. Hurst, 51, was arrested Monday in connection with the deaths of Robert and Patricia Wilson. If convicted of either slaying he could face up to 100 years in prison. If convicted of both, he would face a life sentence.
Hurst appeared in court Friday afternoon wearing glasses and answering with a simple yes or no to Judge Phillip Montgomery's questions. Montgomery appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Hurst in the case after Hurst stated he had no significant amount of money in bank accounts.
DeKalb County State's Attorney Rick Amato filed a motion to deny bail for Hurst. The hearing on that motion will be 9 a.m. Wednesday. Until then, Hurst will wait in the DeKalb County Jail.
Pretrial Services recommended release and that Hurst be placed on pretrial supervision and electronic home monitoring. Montgomery disagreed.
Hurst has no prior criminal history.
The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that they had arrested a suspect in the 31/2 year homicide mystery.
In the interim, investigators followed more than 1,300 leads and traveled as far as Washington state in search of suspects, all the while attempting to identify the DNA found at the crime scene.
DeKalb County Sheriff Roger Scott said Hurst's DNA matched samples recovered by investigators from the crime scene. Although his DNA was not included in any criminal database, a match for Hurst was found after Virginia-based Parabon Labs used a publicly available DNA database to construct a family tree for the suspect.
The Wilsons' bodies were found in separate rooms on the same floor of their trilevel home, DeKalb County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Andy Sullivan said. A coroner's investigation found the Wilsons died from blunt-force trauma.
In court, Montgomery read from charging documents that said Robert Wilson was also stabbed.
Hurst's home in Chicago was within walking distance of where police found Patricia Wilson's Chevrolet Impala.
Robert Wilson, 64, and Patricia Wilson, 85, were longtime Sycamore-area residents. Family members discovered the crime scene shortly before 6 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2016, almost a full day after the Wilsons were killed, police have said. Nine days passed before Patricia Wilson's Impala was discovered legally parked on Stockton Avenue near Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo, near where Route 64 ends.
They were members of St. John's Lutheran Church and Robert was a president of the Sycamore Moose Lodge
Hurst was not on investigators' radar before the DNA match was made, Sullivan said. Hurst likely would have been a total stranger to the Wilsons – he has no known ties to DeKalb County or their family and he lived in Chicago at the time. Sullivan said investigators believe he acted alone.
The process that led investigators to Hurst involved cross-referencing DNA databases and constructing a family history. Parabon and the detectives constructed an intricate web of family trees and then attempted to match the suspect’s DNA with genetic markers that indicate a DNA match.
As they discovered more matches, they constructed Hurst’s family tree backward, working their way through at least 20 of his relatives until they settled on him.