Pekin man leaves sad legacy still shrouded in mystery

By Joe Bennett

Pekin man leaves sad legacy still shrouded in mystery

July 30, 2012 Updated Jul 30, 2012 at 11:04 PM CDT

PEKIN, Ill -- Larry Medearis is survived by a five year-old son and a wife with whom he reportedly had a faltering marriage and by questions about how his life came to an end.

"That can be devastating to a person and in some cases people think they have nothing further to lose," says Tazewell County Sheriff Bob Huston.

Larry Medearis's parents tell a familiar story as family members who lost a loved-one in a domestic dispute.

"Seeing the report on him, it just broke my heart, because he's just not that kind of person," says his mother, Mary Medearis. "He's not evil. He just lost it."

Similar stories have been told here in Central Illinois including the murder-suicide of a family in Emington, an older couple in Mapleton, a young couple in Pekin and another in Peoria.

All occurred in the last eight months.

"We have to remember that an order of protection is not a bullet-proof vest," says Martha Herm with the Center For Prevention of Abuse.

She says if someone becomes too controlling, it could be the next step to a pattern of violent behavior.

She says then it is time to file for a restraining order and move into a victims' shelter.

Beyond that, there is not much one can do.

Herm adds, "The laws really are good laws. It's the enforcement of them that always is the challenge."

"If he had violated a police-enforced condition of the order, and a police officer had been called and found the violation to be a fact, then there typically would be an arrest," Sheriff Huston tells us.

Authorities may never know both sides of the Medearis's marital problems.

We have been contacted by those who knew Larry Medearis, saying he was a good man with many friends.

They say taking his life was something they never thought he would do.

Answers to their many questions may have died with him.

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