Mother, Two Sons Killed Before Fire: Officials

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 2:48 PM CDT
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Natasha Cleary, 30, and her two sons, Marquwon Owens, 12, and Katarion Friar, 2, were found shot to death before fire consumed their home, officials say.

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A mother and her two sons were shot to death before their home was set on fire, officials said Tuesday.

The bodies of Natasha Cleary, 30, and her two sons, Marquwon Owens, 12, and Katarion Friar, 2, were found Sunday in a home on Canterbury Lane, in Rockford.

Autopsies done on the trio showed no sign of soot in their trachea or lungs, said Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia.  While forensic evidence is still being done to make a positive identification, Fiduccia released the names of the victims with "reasonable certainty of their identifications."

Fiduccia said none of the gunshots were self-inflicted.

The Rockford Police Department is treating the deaths as homicides, and the killings double that city's homicide total for 2011.  

A seventh homicide also was reported on Sunday.

Rockford police said they are investigating the deaths along with the state crime lab, state fire marshal and Rockford fire officials.

A memorial to the three victims was set up outside the home with sympathy cards, candles and stuffed animals.

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