"Brutal" Family Homicide in Downstate Farm Town

3-year-old girl who survived suffered "life threatening" injuries

By Nicola Orichuia
|  Wednesday, Sep 23, 2009  |  Updated 12:11 PM CDT
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    The downstate toddler who survived the brutal slaying of her family is recovering from “life threatening” injuries in a Peoria hospital this morning.

    Little Tabitha Gee was the only survivor of Monday’s mass murder in which her entire family was slain in a "In Cold Blood" style murder, a family member told the Chicago Tribune.

    Police are not releasing details on the 3-year-old's condition, except to say that she was injured in the attack, Sheriff Steven Nicholssaid at a midday press conference.

    Nichols said the investigation will focus on a suspicious gray primered small pick-up truck that was spotted in the area.

    Autopsies were performed on the bodies of Raymond Gee, 46, Ruth Gee, 39, Justina Constant, 16, Dillen Constant, 14, and Austin Gee, 11 but Nichols wouldn't release details beyond saying that the family was not shot. Some family members said the Gees were shot and stabbed in the "brutal" attack. 

    Meanwhile, relatives of the Gees have been placed in protective custody while a manhunt ensues.

    "This just doesn't happen here; people are in total shock," said Debbie Harris, a relative of the family's surviving adult daughter, Nicole Gee. "I can't wrap my head around their deaths."

    Residents of the small downstate farming town of Beason are still struggling to deal with the shocking news

    "I'm scared to death, honestly," said Tammy Fair, who lives in a home with a white picket fence near a park in Beason, that is now deserted.

    "It's hard to imagine that anyone who lives here would do this," said Oran Township Supervisor Ken Hutchison. "Normally, rumors would be flying, but nobody seems to know anything."

    The suspected murderer is considered armed and dangerous and the community of 200 -- 40 miles northeast of Springfield -- has been told to stay in their homes and lock their doors.
     

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