Jessica Janusas

Jessica Janusas

Jessica Janusas (15) and her stepfather were found dead in an apparent murder suicide

June 13, 2007

A man and his stepdaughter were found dead Monday night in what coroner's office officials are initially calling a murder-suicide.

Mickey Gordon, 42, and Jessica Janusas, 15, both of 519 N. Colfax, were found dead in the home, the Lake County coroner's office said. Gordon died of a gunshot wound to the head, and Janusas died from gunshot wounds to the body, officials said.

An autopsy, which is scheduled for this morning, and a police investigation will reveal more about the incident, a coroner's spokesman said.

Friends, classmates and teammates of Janusas, a Calumet High School student, gathered Monday night on lawns around the single-story home on Colfax, Griffith's eastern border with Calumet Township. Word of the deaths spread through cell phones Monday night.

"She was an honor student, a really good kid," said Melody Jackson, Lake Ridge Fire Department chief and mother of one of Janusas' friends.

A relative found the pair dead of gunshot wounds about 5 p.m. in the home, sheriff's Detective Robert Bridgeman said. The coroner's office received a call at 5:44 p.m., officials there said.

Bridgeman offered no comment on whether police are seeking any suspects. Police had spoken with no witnesses to the killings, he said.

"We're still trying to piece everything together," he said.

Janusas was a softball player and cheerleader, friends said. She was upbeat, they said.

"I don't think she was ever mad or sad," Jessa Musall said.

Those gathered had less to say about Gordon.

"I was really shocked when somebody told me it was Mickey," neighbor Larry Little said. Little said he went to Calumet Township High School and played softball with Gordon more than a decade ago.

"This is so sad," Little said.

Teens talked to reporters on lawns bathed in red and blue lights, but tried to block television cameras from filming the scene. They formed a human wall around the house about 9 p.m. They cheered when one child climbed on another's shoulders to block a camera. Jackson pulled her full-sized truck in front of the house.


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