A family of immigrants from Belarus, three adults and two children, tragically died in Illinois

November 30 in Buffalo Grove, Illinois, police found the bodies of a family of 5 in their home. As it turned out, they were immigrants from Belarus, and problems in the family had been brewing for a very long time. The circumstances of the incident are still under investigation, writes Chicago Suntimes.

Photo: IStock

Police found 39-year-old Andrei Kislyak, his 36-year-old wife Vera Kislyak, and their two daughters (6-year-old Vivian and 4-year-old Amilia) dead. Among them was 67-year-old Lilia Kislyak, according to neighbors, the children's paternal grandmother.

“They were so cute,” the neighbor said of the children. “The older sister had a big personality, and the younger sister seemed very shy, but so sweet.”

“They were so innocent,” she lamented. - Very nice girls. Quite small. How could someone do this to their family?”

According to Lake County Coroner Jennifer Banek, four of the victims died from "abrupt wounds." The autopsy of the fifth victim is still being done.

The police said the murders are being investigated as a family situation and they do not believe there is a threat to society. Daily herald.

Apart from releasing the names of the victims and the cause of death, the authorities released little new information.

Buffalo Grove Police Chief Brian Budds did not say who caused the fatal injuries or what weapons were used, but said the scene in the house was "terrible".

Budds did not respond to questions about the protection order sought by Vera Kislyak earlier this year, or about Andrei Kislyak's arrest in late September for violating that order.

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Lake County court documents show Vera Kislyak filed for divorce in July.

Budds also declined to comment on reports from neighbors that they called the police to the family's home in the past month or so. One of them said that at the end of August she personally called the police because she was alarmed by the way Andrei Kislyak treated his children.

Difficult story

Lake County court records tell the story of Andrey Kislyak's increasingly erratic and threatening behavior since at least July, when the couple began their highly contentious divorce proceedings. Among other cases cited in court papers, his wife told the court that her husband brought home prostitutes, actively used drugs, stalked her when she drove their children to school, stole her car and threatened to kill her “and mutilate her in such a way that did not know," writes Chicago Suntimes.

At a hearing on November 1, the couple asked the judge to change the protective order preventing Andrei Kislyak from entering the house and seeing their children unsupervised and allow him to return.

Judge Marni Slavin, who in September ordered Andrey Kislyak to be jailed for contempt of court for repeatedly disrupting hearings with profanity, was also apparently concerned. A handwritten note scrawled on the decree reads: "The court has strongly advised against this agreement, but the parties wish to proceed by agreement."

In court documents, Vera Kislyak stated that before the divorce, her husband began to abuse drugs (smoked marijuana and used cocaine daily), brought prostitutes to the house and turned on music late at night. In August, he refused to give his wife the keys to any of the couple's four BMWs to take their daughters to school and refused to do it himself. When Vera Kislyak managed to persuade a neighbor to take them, she stated that her husband followed them and cursed.

Vera Kislyak requested a court order against her husband on 14 September. An emergency writ was issued and then extended on 3 October. According to the court decision, Andrei Kislyak had to stay away from his wife, their two children and home. He should also have turned over all firearms in his possession to the Buffalo Grove Police Department, although it is not clear if he had any weapons at the time.

By a court decision in September, Andrei Kislyak left his wife the keys to a BMW sedan. After starting, the machine ran for a few seconds and then stopped. Two weeks later, Vera Kislyak filed a petition for sole access to the house and children.

“Andrey is an unbalanced person, capable of anything,” her lawyer wrote, later noting that Andrey told Vera, “if she does not stop filing lawsuits, he will kill and mutilate her so that no one will recognize her.” 

Andrei said that after killing his wife, he would kill her family in Belarus, and her sister in Poland. The ban was issued on 30 August. A month later he was put in jail for violating it.

Olga Lysenko, 60, a realtor who worked with Andrei Kislyak, said she first heard about the couple's divorce when Andrei called her to bail him out of prison in September. Lysenko and her husband, who dined at the Kislyaks several times a year, brought his daughters to visit after Andrey was forbidden to appear near the house.

According to Lysenko, Andrei Kislyak was born in Belarus, met Vera through friends, and came to visit many times before they got married in Minsk.

"She was a beautiful girl ... with long legs, like a model," Lysenko said. “Andrei Kislyak, who worked as a tennis coach, was athletic and handsome,” Lysenko remarked, believing that the photo she saw on the news did not reflect his good looks.

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“They were known as a beautiful couple who seemed very happy,” she said. “He was madly in love.”

According to Lysenko, this fall, Andrey Kislyak told her about the start of the divorce proceedings and said that they would go for a consultation and reconcile. Andrei was especially optimistic after his mother, Lilia Kislyak, moved in late September to help look after the children.

Court records show that Andrei Kislyak, acting as his own lawyer, filed a motion on October 5 to withdraw the divorce petition. The day before, the protection order forbidding him from entering the house was extended until October 25, and subsequently extended again.

But on November 1, the judge allowed Andrei Kislyak to withdraw his petition for divorce, although the divorce continued on Vera's counter petition. The same decree allowed him to return to the house. He was required to provide proof that he was applying for three jobs a month, reimburse his wife for her expenses, and transfer ownership of one of their cars to her. The couple had to live in separate bedrooms.

The couple ran into financial difficulties at some point. Andrei Kislyak, who Lysenko said used to work two or three jobs at once, stopped work and was told to sell dozens of expensive refrigerators he had repaired to pay bills, according to court documents. 

According to the documents, a motion was filed three weeks ago to foreclose on the family's home. Lysenko had no idea that the house, which the couple bought a few years after returning from their wedding in Minsk, was mortgaged. According to Lysenko, Andrei Kislyak invested a fortune in renovating the house and worked several jobs to pay for it.

“It was a dream home for both of them,” Lysenko said. "Who's going to buy it now?"

Neighbors were shocked by the news of the death in their usually quiet neighborhood.

“They seemed like a normal-looking family,” said one neighbor, who asked not to be named. “The husband was a good guy, he said hello in the morning when he drove the girls to the bus.”

According to him, the couple moved into the house about five years ago, their children went to school with his sons.

Neighbors said that Vera Kislyak was regularly seen walking around with her children and her dog in the summer.

“She was a really good mother,” the neighbor stated. “Vera always took the children to the park and did something with them.”

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