Details emerge surrounding death of man in Pekin fire

By Joe Bennett

July 30, 2012 Updated Jul 31, 2012 at 11:58 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill -- Tazewell County authorities say police were responding to a call that Larry Medearis was threatening to kill his wife, Louise, and her sister at the Medearis home.

When police were on their way, they were informed the house was on fire.

Eyewitnesses say Louise Medearis and her sister narrowly escaped Larry Medearis as he threatened them with a machete and handgun.

When authorities arrived, the two women were safe at a neighbor's house.

Eyewitnesses say they then saw Larry Medearis pace in front of the burning home, before walking in to the garage where his body was found hours later.

Family members of Larry Medearis describe a man much different than this sad legacy.

They say he had been ashamed after being charged with domestic battery in April.

After his wife filed for an extended order of protection, Larry Medearis's parents say, "He just lost control."

"He couldn't deal with the pressure of the restraining order, and the separation stuff just got to him and he snapped," says his father Lawrence Medearis Sr.

Tazewell County Sheriff Bob Huston says, "When a person sees their family falling apart, that can be devastating to a person and in some cases people think they have nothing further to lose."

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