UPDATE: Police have small lead in double homicide

By Audrey Wise

September 19, 2013 Updated Sep 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Police are investigating a double homicide.

Peoria Police were called to 1204 West Margaret Avenue around 3:15 a.m. Thursday after a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious person in the alley.

"The lady noticed him outside the home. She called us and when we arrived we found the two victims inside of the home," Lt. Willie King said.

When officers arrived they found KeiAmber M. Beard, 24, and James A. Irby Jr., 29, shot dead inside the home. Police confirm that there were two children inside the home at the time of the shooting. They were not injured.

An autopsy done by the Peoria County Coroner on Thursday showed both victims died of multiple gunshot wounds. It also showed that KeiAmber was in her first trimester of pregnancy.

Peoria Police Captain Mike Scally said they only have one real lead.

"The name 'Mike' was heard and it was spoken by one of the victims, prior to them being deceased and that's the only real lead I have at this time," Scally said.

Police would not comment on whether there were signs of forced entry to the house but said they do not believe it is a random act.

"We believe this was directed at someone, that the individual was personally known by them who committed the crime," Lt. King said.

Police say Irby had been arrested by them before.

Beard's sister, Whitney Pierce, said the two were boyfriend and girlfriend. Pierce said she is still trying to figure out how this could happen to her big sister.

"I'm just thinking it's somebody who didn't like her boyfriend and it just went from there, maybe they didn't know she was in the house or the kids were in the house as well, I don't know," Pierce said.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Peoria Police or Crimestoppers at (309) 673-9000.

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