Crime

Illinois Sheriff: 5 Were Killed In Murder-Suicide

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Murder

PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) - A neighbor said Saturday she saw an Illinois woman shoot at her 10-month-old baby before apparently killing herself.

Authorities have said five people, including two children and a baby, were killed in a murder-suicide, but they haven’t identified the shooter. The bodies were found Friday in Emington, a small farming community about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

Neighbor Annelise Fielder told The Associated Press that she heard a round of shots Friday afternoon and ran outside to her backyard.

She saw 30-year-old Sara McMeen in the next yard over hovering over her baby as if she’d dropped her. Fielder asked McMeen if everything was alright, and “she looked at me and said, `No, everything is not alright.”

McMeen fired a shot at the infant, “and then I just ran,” said Fielder, a town trustee. Fielder said she didn’t see or hear what happened after that, and she didn’t see any of the other victims.

Along with McMeen, Livingston County coroner Michael Burke identified them as 29-year-old Daniel Warren, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke, 7-year-old Ian Lemke and 10-month-old Maggie Warren.
Livingston County Sheriff Martin Meredith said all the children belonged to McMeen, and he described Daniel Warren as her live-in boyfriend.

Meredith said a semiautomatic pistol was recovered at the scene. The sheriff, a father in his first year in office, called the situation “very gut-wrenching.”

Neighbors have said the family moved to Emington in the last few months. Meredith said the two older children attended school in nearby Saunemin, where Skyler was in second grade and Ian was in first grade.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

our earlier story:

PONTIAC, Ill. (AP) — Five people, including a baby and two children, who were found shot to death in a small Illinois farming town were killed in a murder-suicide, authorities said Saturday, though they wouldn’t identify the shooter.

Livingston County coroner Michael Burke identified those killed as: 30-year-old Sara McMeen, 29-year-old Daniel Warren, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke, 7-year-old Ian Lemke and 10-month-old Maggie Warren.

Sheriff Martin Meredith said all the children belonged to McMeen, and he described Daniel Warren as her live-in boyfriend.

All were found shot to death Friday at a home in Emington, a town of about 100 people about 80 miles southwest of Chicago.

Meredith said a semiautomatic pistol was recovered at the scene, but he wouldn’t say who investigators believe used it. He said the investigation is ongoing.

The sheriff, a father in his first year in office, called the situation “very gut-wrenching.”

Neighbors have said the family moved to Emington in the last few months. Meredith said the two older children attended school in nearby Saunemin, where Skyler was in second grade and Ian was in first grade.

Meredith said first responders found the bodies after Livingston County dispatchers received a call Friday afternoon. Autopsies have not yet been conducted.

Ronald Groetsema lives near the home where the family was found and said he heard six to eight gunshots, then heard a second round of four to six shots a few minutes later. Groetsema’s 12-year-old son got off the school bus with the children who died, he said.

“They were happy because it was the last day of school before Christmas break,” Groetsema said.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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