Charges filed in couple's murder

October 25, 2009 (HAMMOND, Ind.)

While murder charges are expected Monday, relatives of the victims say they've been told kidnapping and other charges have already been filed.

Meanwhile, roughly 80 friends and neighbors gathered Sunday for a vigil in memory of the slain couple. There was relief among those attending that arrests have been made.

Police are charging formally two young men, ages 17 and 19, in connection with the murders of Milton and Ruby McClendon. They had not identified the teenagers Sunday night or discussed what might have happened.

"Whether they knew my parents or not, I think they thought, 'Wow,' you know, 'Here's a mark,'" Garrard McClendon told ABC7 Chicago.

The family wonders if the Mcclendons might have known the killers, or at least recognized a face and were trusting enough to allow them in. The couple was found shot to death on a forest preserve and their car was abandoned.

"Today at the funeral home is where it really hit me hardest," said another of the couple's sons, Duane McClendon.

The family has hardly had time to grieve. They too are hungry to find out what happened and why.

In a family of deep faith, Garrard McClendon says he's already forgiven the killers. When asked how he could forgive without knowing who the killers are or what they may have done, he responded, "Doesn't matter. For me to harbor vengeance, for me to be judgmental, in this situation, would only hurt me more and my family more."

Garrard McClendon's oldest brother says, however, he is not prepared to forgive yet.

"Justice needs to be brought to these people. I think I'm in little different place right now than where Garrard is. I can't quite say I'm ready to forgive these guys yet," he said.

Police in Hammond say they will provide some detail about the case against the two young men charged in the double murder.

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