Three dead after apparent murder-suicide in Pekin

By WEEK Producer

February 25, 2013 Updated Feb 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- Three people are dead after an apparent murder suicide in Pekin Sunday night.

Authorities were called to a house at 1227 Highland St. Sunday around 8:30 p.m. after receiving a phone call from a family member who was unable to contact the residents.

Police say they forced their way in to the residence, and found a deceased elderly couple, 77-year-old Ira "Lee" Clemons and his 75-year-old wife Barbara dead in their bed from apparent gunshot wounds.

Authorities then found the couple's 52-year-old son, Allen "Scott" Clemons, in the basement, also dead with an apparent gunshot wound.

An autopsy report released Wednesday showed that both Ira and Barbara Clemons sustained blunt force trauma as well as a gunshot wound to the head. Allen Clemons also sustained a gun shot wound to the head, apparently self inflicted.

The Pekin Police department reports authorities have been called to the home on previous occasions.

"Most of the time, it's just a simple gap in communication process when someone doesn't answer the phone or something," said Pekin Police Officer Don Jolly, "But when we actually go in and have to force entry into a house like this, no one really expects or wants to ever come across something like this."

Records show Scott was found guilty of domestic battery in 1998 and ordered to undergo alcohol and mental treatment.

"I'd see him around town," said neighbor Darlene Whiteman. "He'd ride his bike or walk the new dog they had just gotten last year, and you know, he was very nice and polite for the most part, but I'm sure when people live together, it's hard."

"(This is) very rare in Tazewell County," said Tazewell County Coroner, James Baldi. "I think we're all blessed in that regard. It's always a tragedy. The fact its three-fold makes it worse."

Baldi adds he speculates the incident could have occurred some time over the past 36 hours.

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