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The town of Percy, Illinois said a final farewell to the four children killed in last Friday's house fire.

12-year-old Ethan, 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen died in the fire. Their parents and a cousin escaped the burning home. Derrick Twardoski faces four murder charges in connection to the fire.

Prosecutors say they believe they know why he set the fire, but are not releasing the motive ahead of the trial.

 

Published in Local News

 The man accused of setting the Randolph County house fire that killed four children has pleaded not guilty.

33-year-old Derrick Twardoski is facing murder charges after allegedly setting the fire that killed 12-year-old Ethan Owen, 9-year-old Kailey Owen, and five-year-old twins Brandon and Landon Owen in Percy, a village 60 miles southeast of St. Louis. A judge ordered him jailed without bond and assigned him to be represented by a public defender.   State's Attorney Jeremy Walker says he doesn't consider the fire random, though he's declined to detail what led investigators to Twardoski or any relationship he may have had with the victims.

Randolph County Coroner Randy Dudenbostel has confirmed that all four died of smoke inhalation.  

Funeral services for the children will be Tuesday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Steelville, Illinois.  

Donation are being accepted at the church to help the family with their expenses.  

The funeral service for the Owen children has been planned. It will be held Tuesday, May 14, at 2:00pm at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Steeleville, IL, with visitation Monday evening from 4:00pm until 8:00pm and again Tuesday from 7:30am until 1:45pm also at the church.

 
Published in Local News

VALLEY SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) — The sheriff of Calaveras County in Northern California says residents "can sleep a little better" now.

The community of Valley Springs was shaken last month by the mysterious stabbing death of an 8-year-old girl. The girl's 12-year-old brother told police he found her body and an intruder in their home, setting off a manhunt.

Authorities yesterday arrested the 12-year-old. The sheriff says the boy will be charged with homicide.

Published in National News
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Washington University survey of Missouri tanning salons has found that nearly two-thirds allow children as young as 10 or 12 to tan, and many provide misinformation about the dangers of tanning beds.

Dermatologists at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis led the telephone survey in 2007. Results were published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Questioners posed as prospective clients. Operators at 65 percent of the salons said they would allow 10- or 12-year-olds to tan. Employees at 43 percent said there was no risk posed by indoor tanning.

American Suntanning Association executive director Tracie Cunningham questioned the survey methods and said many of the businesses in the six-year-old survey are no longer operating.
Published in Local News
UPDATE:
Calvin Campbell, 32, was charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection to the case.

EARLIER:
A Jennings man is in custody after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend to death in front of her children.

It happened about 10:00 Tuesday night. It happened inside an apartment in the 9400 block of Dawn Court.

Police say the victim's two children witnessed the attack and then ran to a neighbor for help.

The names of the victim and suspect have not yet been released.

St. Louis County homicide detectives are assisting Jennings Police in the investigation.
Published in Local News

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