FRANKFORT TOWNSHIP – Preliminary autopsy results show a 48-year-old Mokena man died from hanging, according to the Will County Coroner’s Office.
Thomas Lacasse, 48, of Mokena, was pronounced dead about 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Hickory Creek Forest Preserve in Frankfort Township.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County police are in charge of the death investigation. The coroner’s office performed an autopsy Wednesday morning and the final cause and manner of death will be determined at a later date. Funeral home selection is pending.
About 3:30 p.m., forest preserve police responded to a call regarding a body located in a wooded area near Lincoln-Way East High School, according to a forest preserve news release. Lacasse is suspected to have committed suicide.
The Will County Sheriff’s Office and the Frankfort Fire Department also responded to the scene.
The body reportedly was discovered by a group of students who were running after school hours at the preserve as part of an independent conditioning activity, said Taryn Atwell, Lincoln-Way High School District 210 spokeswoman.
Atwell said the students ran back to the school to report the discovery of the body to school officials, who then contacted the authorities. Atwell said parents picked up the students soon after and, on Wednesday morning, the students who discovered the body met with counselors.
This story will be updated as more information is available.