Foul play suspected in fatal Pekin house fire

By WEEK Producer

July 29, 2012 Updated Jul 30, 2012 at 9:51 AM CDT

PEKIN, Ill. -- In a story we brought you first, a Pekin home has been destroyed by a suspicious fire overnight Saturday. Tazewell County authorities believe foul play may be involved.

The Tazewell County Coroner confirms around 12:30 Sunday morning, an unidentified body was found inside the home scene, at 13999 Towerline Road in Pekin.

The gender of the body found has not yet been determined.

First responders from several area departments, including Tremont, Pekin and Green Valley, were on the scene.

Authorities tell us that the occupants of that home have a history surrounding the violation of restraining orders in the past. They believe an ex-husband came to the house last night "with weapons" and eventually set it on fire.

As of 1 a.m., authorities said he was nowhere to be found.

The home is listed to a Lawrence and Louise Medearis.

According to the Tazewell County Sheriff's office, 44-year-old Lawrence Medearis was charged with domestic battery on April 23.

Regarding the fire, the family was taken in for questioning, according to a Tazewell County Sheriff's deputy.

A State Police Crime Scene Investigation team was at the property early Sunday morning as well.

We will have more details on this story as authorities continue to investigate.

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