Jeffrey Austwick, 54, Highland Park

A Highland Park man shot one brother nine times and a second brother four times before setting the home he was living in ablaze and fleeing to St. Louis, Lake County prosecutors said in court Tuesday.

Jeffrey Austwick, 54, of the 1700 block of Park Avenue West in Highland Park, made his first Lake County court appearance Tuesday morning on charges he murdered brothers Marc Austwick, 63, of Lake Forest, and John Austwick, 60, of Mundelein, outside their deceased mother’s Highland Park home at 3:50 a.m. on June 5.

Jeffrey Austwick appeared before Lake County Associate Judge Raymond Collins in Lake County First Appearance Court after waving extradition from St. Louis last week.

Jeffrey Austwick was picked up from jail in St. Louis and booked in Lake County jail Monday afternoon, court and police records show.

During his court appearance at about 10 a.m. Tuesday, Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Mary Vukovich laid out additional details in the case where Jeffrey Austwick is alleged to have gunned down his brothers in Highland Park.

Vukovich said a neighbor called 911 to report a fire at the house behind them in the 1700 block of Park Avenue West.

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The call prompted a response from the Highland Park Fire Department to the scene where the house was found completely engulfed in flames, Vukovich said.

Firefighters then found two bodies clearly deceased lying on the west side of the house about 15 feet from the home, Vukovich said. The two bodies were later identified as brothers John and Marc Austwick, Vukovich said.

A police officer interviews firefighters after two men were found dead outside of a house fire in the 1700 block of Park Avenue West in Highland Park early Wednesday morning. | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner

It was determined one victim had suffered nine gunshot wounds while the other suffered four gunshot wounds, Vukovich said.

In addition, Vukovich said reporting police officers had prior knowledge of a dispute between the three brothers over Jeffrey Austwick paying rent to help cover the taxes on the property.

The mother of the three Austwicks owned the home, police said previously, but she had recently passed away.

Vukovich said in court the son of one of the victims told police he and his dad went to the Highland Park address two days before the shooting and the locks had been changed.

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Vukovich added in court a sergeant with the Lake Forest Police Department told investigators Jeffrey Austwick looked upset when he showed up unannounced at an acquaintance’s Lake Forest home after the shooting and that Jeffrey Austwick admitted to shooting his brothers.

Vukovich added the car the defendant was known to drive was spotted in Plainfield, Illinois after the shooting.

Jeffrey Austwick was later arrested in St. Louis, authorities said.

In ordering to detain Jeffrey Austwick for a detention hearing, Collins said there were no pretrial release conditions to ensure the safety of residents or reasonably ensure Jeffrey Austwick would attend future court appearances.

Jeffrey Austwick will next appear in court for a detention hearing in front of Lake County Associate Judge Theodore Potkonjak at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Police on the scene of a double murder in Highland Park that took place June 7. | Photo: Woo-Sung Shim / Lake and McHenry County Scanner

In the immediate days after the June 5 shooting, authorities from the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force said a preliminary investigation shows brothers Marc and John Austwick went to the house to discuss the property with their brother, Jeffrey.

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After the two brothers arrived at the house, Jeffrey Austwick shot his brothers, then set the house on fire, authorities said.

After Jeffrey Austwick fled the area, investigators obtained a nationwide arrest warrant for him on two counts of murder.

This mug shot of Jeffrey Austwick, 54, of Highland Park, was taken in St. Louis | Photo: Submitted photo

He was taken into custody by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police about one week ago, authorities said.

A Facebook post released by St. Louis Metropolitan Police said Austwick was spotted hiding in some bushes near Walnut and 7th streets near the St. Louis Arch.

Authorities also said he was armed with a gun.

Authorities said the murder of the brothers in Highland Park appeared to be isolated and there was no threat to the community.