Shawnee native Theodore Hilk, 30, found dead in Chicago apartment with explosive chemicals

Theodore Hilk

Chicago Police are investigating the death of a 30-year-old Shawnee native whose body was discovered in a high-rise Chicago apartment Tuesday night. The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the man

Chicago Police are investigating the death of a 30-year-old Shawnee native whose body was discovered in a high-rise Chicago apartment Tuesday night.

The Cook County Medical Examiner identified the man as Theodore Hilk after performing an autopsy early Wednesday morning, but a cause of death has not been officially determined.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told Chicago TV station ABC 7 that Hilk’s father contacted police earlier this week after not hearing from his son for several days.

Hilk’s father drove to Chicago, according to Brown, met investigators late Tuesday night and together went to Hilk’s apartment in the Streeterville neighborhood in downtown Chicago.

Investigators entered the apartment to discover Hilk’s body “decomposing,” Brown said. In addition, Brown said a “strong odor was emanating from the apartment” and several officers became sick.

A Chicago Fire Department hazmat team as well as a police bomb squad were called in to investigate the source of the odor.

A Chicago Police press release said a “potentially volatile substance” lead azide was discovered in the apartment. Lead azide is a chemical compound that is often used in making explosives, including by the U.S. military.

Brown characterized the chemicals as “bomb-making materials and substances” but said investigators found them “thrown throughout the apartment” and not organized in any discernible way.

Chicago Police said two floors of the apartment building were evacuated during the investigation, which lasted into Wednesday afternoon. The hazardous materials were removed from Hilk’s apartment and securely disposed of, according to police.

A LinkedIn profile for Theodore Hilk shows that he most recently worked as a high-frequency trader at financial services firm Headlands Technologies.

A Headlands spokesperson said a Theodore Hilk left the company in 2015, though Hilk’s LinkedIn profile said he worked there up to the present.

The same profile shows Hilk graduated from Mill Valley High School in 2009, and went on to earn a degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

KCTV 5 reported Thursday that Hilk was remembered for his time at Mill Valley as being an academic star who earned a perfect score on the ACT.