Funerals held for 4 victims of murder-suicide

December 22, 2011 5:08:04 PM PST
The small Illinois town of Emington mourned Thursday as family and friends gathered for the funerals of four people who were killed in a murder-suicide last week.

Police say Daniel Warren, 29, his 10-month-old daughter, Maggie, and two other children, Skyler and Ian Lemke, were shot to death by Sara McMeen, 30. People gathered in two nearby towns - Morris and Dwight - for the funerals of Warren and the three children.

Warren and his baby girl were buried together Thursday morning in one casket. Happy pictures of father and daughter illustrated their love. Family friend Lisa Nelson called the service moving.

"He was an awesome young man . She was so proud of him,a good dad and a very kind soul," said Nelson.

Authorities say Daniel and Maggie Warren were killed last Friday at the hands of McMeen, Warren's girlfriend and Maggie's mother. McMeen then killed her two other children, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke and 7-year-old Ian Lemke, before turning the gun on herself.

Wendy Warren, Daniel's mother, believes McMeen suffered from mental illness.

"There wasn't anything that you could say, it was this or it was this. They worked through everything, they were close and they were tight, but they were off and on, off and on," Wendy Warren.

The family is relying on faith and their friends to get them through.

"What do you do at a time like this? You hold on to one another," said Nelson.

Meanwhile, across town in Dwight loved ones gathered for the funeral of Skyler and Ian Lemke at Emmanuel Lutheran Church. McMeen was laid to rest Wednesday.

Aaron Gradberg, Skyler and Ian's teacher, remembered the shock he felt when he heard the news and recalled the children's class. "The other teachers, they heard a lot of laughter coming out of class, everyone was enjoying what they were doing," said Gradberg.

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