5 Shot to Death in Small Town Near Kankakee

Names of the victims haven't yet been publicly released

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sheriff says they're not looking for anyone but declined to classify the case as a murder/suicide. (Published Friday, Dec 16, 2011)

    Update: Sheriff classifies deaths as case of murder-suicide. Victims' IDs released.

    Five people, including three children, were found shot to death Friday afternoon at a home in a small town near Kankakee.

    The mayor of Emington, Daniel Delaney, called it a gruesome discovery.

    "We did have an awful disaster here," said Delaney, who's been in office for 24 years. "You never would have thought it would happen in our town of 100 people or less. ... Right now it's just very, very, very sad for us here."

    Calls of shots fired came in shortly after 2:30 p.m., said Livingston County Sheriff Martin A. Meredith. When authorities arrived, they found the bodies of a woman, a girl and a baby in the backyard of home. A man and a boy were found nearby.

    While town residents were understandably shaken, Meredith did his best to allay their fears.

    "As your sheriff, I want to assure the residents of Livingston County that you are safe from any harm and we are not looking for anyone in this crime," he said.

    Meredith declined to comment on if the case was a murder/suicide.

    Livingston County board member Bob Young, who lives in Emington, about 80 miles southwest of Chicago, said the family had moved to the town within the last six months and the two older children attended school in nearby Saunemin. The street where the family lived was closed by police, he said.

    The names of the victims haven't yet been publicly released.