Authorities may never know why a woman in a rural Illinois town shot her three young children and live-in boyfriend before killing herself, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Days after 30-year-old Sara McMeen was found in the backyard of her rented home next to the bodies of her three children and a semi-automatic pistol, the investigation into her death "has kind of stalled," said Marvin Rutledge, the chief deputy sheriff of Livingston County southwest of Chicago.
"I don't know if we're ever going to know what her state of mind was that day," Rutledge said. "She's not here for us to know what happened that day."
With funerals scheduled this week for all five dead, investigators will wait before they talk to more family members and friends, Rutledge said. Authorities say no one else is in danger.
No one has come forward in the day since authorities asked Monday for anyone who had recently spoken to McMeen or her boyfriend, 29-year-old Daniel Warren, Rutledge said. Warren's mother, Wendy Warren, said Tuesday that McMeen appeared to be in good spirits a day before the shootings.
"Personally, I feel there is really no rush to find out if there was a possible motive," Rutledge said. "Our bottom line is, let's let family members and friends have time to grieve. There's nothing to solve here. Again, we know what happened."
Other family members on Tuesday called it an "inexplicable tragedy: that has left "many unanswered questions."
Neighbors in Emington heard a first round of gunshots Friday afternoon, moments after 8-year-old Skyler Lemke and 7-year-old Ian Lemke came home from school on the last day before Christmas break.