Pregnant mother among 5 murdered downstate

Investigators in downstate Illinois say one of the five people murdered Wednesday was pregnant.

Police say Rick Odell Smith shot and killed a great-grandmother, a pregnant mother, her boyfriend and two young children in a home in the small town of Manchester, IL.

Manchester VictimsAuthorities say Smith spared the life of a six-year-old girl and even carried her to a neighbor’s house and asked them to take her to a hospital.

Smith sped off in a car and was killed later by police during a shootout.

Investigators haven’t said what the motive for the killings may have been, but they say he was involved in a custody battle with another family member who was not in the home at the time.

The dead include:

Jo Ann Sinclair, 67, grandmother to Brittney Luark and great-grandmother to the 2 deceased children;

James Roy Ralston, 29, father of 2 deceased children;

Brittney Luark, 23, the pregnant mother of 2 deceased children and granddaughter of Jo Ann Sinclair;

Nolan J. Ralston, 5, son of  James Ralston and Brittney Luark;

Brantley Ralston, 1, son of James Ralston and Brittney Luark.

The six- year-old child remains hospitalized in serious condition with facial wounds.


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