horse jockey Eusebio "Eddie" Razo Jr. was found dead in a garage fire in
, according to his family.
Lake County authorities said the body was burned beyond recognition and declined to confirm the victim's identity until further tests are done. But Razo's brother-in-law said family members believe the victim was Razo, 46.
The Long Grove Fire Protection District and
were called at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday to investigate smoke at the residence in the 5100 block of Arlington Heights Road. They found the detached garage on fire and recovered a body after the fire was extinguished, officials said.
"What was he doing in the garage? I have no idea," said Gerald Filipowski Jr. of Sarasota, Fla., who said he spoke by phone to his sister Doreen, Razo's wife, Tuesday afternoon. "He might have seen smoke, I don't know."
Doreen Razo could not be reached.
Filipowski said his sister told him the couple had been preparing to leave for an appointment with a therapist for treatment of Eddie Razo's recent arm injury. Doreen Razo last saw her husband sitting on the couch, waiting for her to take a shower, Filipowski said.
"Nobody really knows what happened while she was taking the shower and by the time she came out," he said. "She explained to me that it couldn't have been more than 15 minutes."
He said that she told him she saw smoke outside the house from a window. She couldn't find her husband and "dialed 911 as she was running out to look for Eusebio," Filipowski said.
sheriff and Illinois State Fire Marshal are investigating the fire, whose cause is unknown, according to a news release.
"He was very mild-mannered, a very nice guy," Filipowski said of his brother-in-law. "He didn't seem to have a gripe with anybody."
Razo's late father-in-law, Gerald Filipowski Sr., was a former captain for the Long Grove fire department.
The news spread fast among the horse-racing community.
Razo had been injured while helping a friend and former jockey, Rene Douglas, with drywall work in Florida, said Tom Morgan, a veteran jockey's agent.
"It incapacitated him for probably for the remainder of this year," Morgan said. "He was in the process of obtaining a jockey agent license. He was due to take the test this week."