Police: Son in custody as person of interest in double homicide of deacon, wife

NORTH ROYALTON -- North Royalton police are investigating a double homicide that left a husband and wife dead.

Police said Dennis and Helen Lucak, each 72-years-old, died of multiple gunshot wounds inside their Harbour Light Drive home Saturday evening.

North Royalton police said investigators tracked the victims' cell phones to the Super 8 Hotel in Medina, where they found the victims' 44-year-old son, Michael.

Police said they took him into custody as a person of interest. Investigators removed bags of evidence from his hotel room and towed away his pickup truck, which had a boat on it.

He has not yet been charged.

According to a June, 2016 police report, Dennis Lucak called police to report that Michael, who he said had mental health issues, was "breaking everything inside the house" after an argument over Michael cooking pork chops.

Michael "threw a toaster and a lamp at Dennis, which struck him in the shoulder," and slammed Helen Lucak's cell phone into the kitchen sink then threw it into the toilet, according to the incident report.

The report states that the Lucaks told officers Michael began living with them permanently in 2015 since being diagnosed with lymphoma.

He was charged with domestic violence and criminal damaging and Dennis Lucak signed a temporary restraining order against Michael, according to the report.

Neighbors on Monday said Michael was again living with the couple, but recently moved out.

"Sunday, when I got up and I saw their car was there, and it was there almost all day, I thought, 'something's wrong,'" said next-door neighbor Terry Anderson. "They were always very helpful and very good neighbors; nobody could ask for better neighbors than them. You just would never think anything would happen."

Dennis Lucak, a retired RTA bus driver and supervisor, served as a deacon at Archangel Michael Orthodox Church in Broadview Heights for 20 years.

"They really carried their crosses, and I'd like to think that they who bore their crosses with honor and dignity throughout their life, that in the end those crosses carried them into our Lord's kingdom," said Archpriest John Memorich.

Memorich said he last saw the couple at a Saturday night dinner with the Bishop. He said relatives became concerned when they failed to come to Sunday morning services, which began at 10 a.m.

"Mere hours later, they're gone. Everybody's just in a state of shock," he said. "They were a devoted couple, loved each other, supported one another, did everything together, and they were very active in the community of this parish."

In an email to church members late Sunday, Father Memorich wrote of the homicides, "obviously this is shocking, and most distressing news, and we ask all of you to pray for their souls and for the peace of their family." He also earlier issued the following statement on behalf of the church:

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Protodeacon Dennis and Helen Lucak.  They were both longtime members of our parish community and active in our clubs and organizations.

Obviously, this is shocking, and most distressing news.  We ask all of you to pray for their souls and for the peace of their family.

May the Kingdom of God be theirs and may their Memory Be Eternal!

Out of respect to their family wishes, we will have no further comment at t his time.”

The Maple Heights school district said Helen Lucak retired after teaching there.

Detective Dave Loeding with North Royalton police said a relative went to the couple's home to check on them Sunday afternoon.

When there was no answer, investigators said the relative reported it to the North Royalton police station around 6:45 p.m. and police officers responded and entered the home.

Officers found the couple dead in an upstairs bedroom, Loeding said.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation are assisting in the investigation.

Stay with FOX 8 and FOX8.com for the latest on this developing story.

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