John Granat, 17, Charged With Murdering Parents

17-year-old Illinois boy claims he woke up to find parents dead.

Sept. 13, 2011 — -- A 17-year-old high school student who called 911 to report his parents had been killed is now being held with their murders.

John Granat, an only child, pleaded not guilty this morning to two counts of murder in the first degree. He was ordered held without bond.

Police say the teen called 911 early Sunday morning to report he'd awakened to find his family's Palos Park, Ill., house ransacked, and his parents executed.

"I woke up and everything was tipped over and I went to wake up my parents and they were dead ... drowning in their own blood ... drowning in their own blood, " Granat told the 911 operator.

Inside the beautiful brick home Granat's father, who was a builder, had constructed for his family, police found a horrible crime scene. John Granat, 44, and his 41-year-old wife, Maria had been bludgeoned to death in their bed. Maria was stabbed numerous times. The attack was so violent the ceiling was spattered with blood.

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"The house was clean except for the bedroom," explained Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart. "The bedroom area had blood from the floor to the ceiling, to the walls ... everywhere."

Investigators say there were no signs of forced entry, nothing of value was missing, and the Granat's only son, John, was home at the time.

"He had said he had been in his house all night asleep," said Dart, "He woke up and found them dead."

But as police looked closer, the teen's story began to unravel.

"Unfortunately for him and his story, at 5:15 that morning about two hours before he made that 911 call, he was stopped by a Palos Heights police officer in his car driving back toward his house," Dart said. "He had in his car a bottle of ammonia bleach."

Investigators say they believe the teen planned to use the bleach to clean up the bloody crime scene, and called the teen's relationship with his devoutly religious parents "difficult."

"He had made threats to kill them," said Dart.

Classmates at Stagg High School find that hard to believe.

"He was a quiet kid," said Greg Smialkowski, who was in Granat's English class last year. "He got good grades, he did all his homework. He was a perfect student, never bad signs of anything."

The lawyer representing the teen said his client is innocent and that prosecutors have yet to reveal a motive.

Neighbors in this enclave of upscale homes have left flowers, photos and candles in a makeshift memorial outside the Granat's house.

"They've got only one son," said Janina Lassak, "so I don't know what's happened. How did such a crime happen in this neighborhood? It's so sad."

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