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UPDATE: Possible motive in family's murders in Manchester, IL

   Authorities say there was a dispute between the man suspected of killing five members of a Manchester, Illinois family and at least one of the victims, but they don't know what it was about.  

   Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond says investigators are running down reports that Rick Smith was involved in a custody dispute with a member of the family.  His brother has said the victims were all related to Smith's ex-girlfriend. 

   Illinois State Police have released the identities of five family members killed.  Authorities have identified the victims as brothers, one year old Brantley Ralston and five year old Nolan Ralston.  Their slain parents are 29 year old James Roy Ralston and 23 year old Brittney Luark, who was also five months pregnant. The fifth victim is Luark's grandmother and the great grandmother of the children, 67 year old Jo Ann Sinclair.

   Hospital officials in Springfield say the lone survivor of the shooting spree, the boys' six year old sister, has been upgraded from serious to fair condition.

   Smith was shot and later died following a gun battle with police.
 
   A trust fund has now been established at the Peoples Bank and Trust to help the family of the victims pay for funeral expenses.  
 
 
Donations can be made to:
 
Peoples Bank and Trust
102 South Main
PO Box 258
White Hall, IL 62092
 
 
Last modified on Friday, 26 April 2013 04:30

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