Friday, March 9, 2012

Murder-suicide claims 5 in Emington, Ill.

video of the report

  On December 16, 2011 in the small town of Emington, Illinois five people, including three children, were found shot to death at a home. This small town is only approximately 15 minutes away from my hometown. I have actually babysat the children right next door to this particular home. It is located northeast of the county seat of Pontiac, Illinois, and southeast of Odell and Streator, Illinois, west of Kankakee about 45 miles south of the Joliet area, north of Bloomington-Normal and Champaign-Urbana. In this particular town everyone knew everybody. It is a population of only 120 residents. These types of incidents were unheard of. No one ever locked their homes or ever imagined that this type of tragedy could happen to their small town.

  The incident happened at approx 2:36pm right after the mother picked up her children from being let out of school early for Christmas break. The Livingston County police dispatch received a call from a neighbor after hearing shots fired. Deputies arrived and secured the scene and reported there were five victims. Later identified by county coroner Micheal Burke was 30-year-old Sara McMeen, 29-year-old Daniel Warren, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke, 7-year-old Ian Lemke and 10-month-old Maggie Warren. Sara McMeen was the mother of all three children, and Daniel Warren was her live-in boyfriend. According to ABC 7 News, the family had just moved to Emington in the last few months. Authorities "found the bodies of Sara, the 10-month old baby, and the 8-year-old girl all in the back yard of their home at the 100th block of S. Street, stated ABC 7 News."  They found the bodies of Daniel Warren and the young boy in another location nearby. The boy was in kindergarten, the girl in second grade and the baby less than a year old.

  Reports indicate that the incident was a murder-suicide. Sara McMeen was the sole shooter of the other four victims before taking her own life. "Autopsy results revealed that McMeen died of a self-inflicted gunshot to the neck from a 40-caliber semi-automatic handgun that was found in her hand, stated ABC 7 News."  The bullets from the weapon matched those found in Warren, who was shot in the back and the head, and the children, who were all shot in the head. Skylar reportedly had numerous wounds. A neighbor was interviewed and she stated that she saw McMeen minutes prior to the shootings holding the baby in a blanket crying and the neighbor asked her "if everything was alright" and McMeen replied back "no everything is not alright" and then bent down and shot her baby. The neighbor stated that she ran for her life.

  Reports later revealed that McMeen suffered from Bipolar disorder but wasn’t on any medication. This incident just boggles my mind. I don’t understand how someone can be Bipolar and not be on any medications. Also, after doing some further research on this case I found that the McMeen's father had shot and killed his wife several years prior to this incident and go away with it. I don't understand how a family like this goes untreated. It is scary to think that there are families like this in the world. I also found that McMeen had a FOID card. I just find this scary that a woman who is diagnosed as Bipolar can still have a FOID card. Overall, I find this tragedy very sad and disheartening. I hope that in the future we can start monitoring the use of FOID cards. I often wonder to myself if McMeen didn’t have access to her gun would she still have done this particular incident?

                                          this is a picture of the couple after having Maggie


Dwight, IL (The Paper) Newspaper


  1. This is terrible that this had to happen, with further investigation im curious to know what law enforcment investigators will find regarding motive. Possibly the women had a history of mental illness or abuse by the boyfriend. They did move into town just a few months ago or else maybe someone would have seen this coming. In such a small town im sure everyone knew eachothers buisness, if they had been there longer this whole thing could have been avoided. Its also terrible that she killed the innocent kids.

  2. I think that tragedies like these are absolutely horrible. However, I find it irresponsible to think that the fact that she was able to obtain a FOID card had anything to do with it. For one, bipolar disorder is not an easy disorder to diagnose, let alone treat. It is very difficult to get patients to take their medications. On top of that, her emotional issues went past anything that we can understand. She murdered her own children, and whether or not she had had a gun she would have still murdered them. Illinois is the only state that requires a FOID card. I for one am glad to be moving to Florida, where not only is FOID not required, but they also have concealed carry. So I can protect myself the way this country intended I could.

  3. This definitely is a horrible thing and any community would be devastated to hear of such a tragedy. I do think that people who have issues such as a bi polar disorder on a certian level should not be allowed to have foid cards, however i know personally quite a few people with the disorder and also have a close family member with the disorder. Many do not need medication to be fullying functioning and im not saying that its ok for her to not take her medication because she clearly was not as well off without it but for many it is just unneccessary. In instances like this one i just cant wrap my mind about how someone never saw problems or warning signs. I dont think that things like this just happen. Clearly there was a family history with violence and i personally think that maybe if warning signs were taken to heart things like this can sometimes be prevented.

  4. Reminds me of a very similar story involving Andrea Yates, a mother who drowned her five children in her bathtub. Andrea dealt with post partum depression and mental issues for years and it seems as if this woman did as well. I think it is sad that people are quick to point the blame on the mother. Andrea loved her children and I am sure this woman did as well. They both were very sick women who with the help of medical intervention could possibly have lived a normal and productive life. Education is key, letting women like these two know that what they are going through is normal and the feelings they are having are normal and can be treated. The stigma behind mental illness is what makes many of these women go without treatment. No one wants people to know that they have feelings of wanting to hurt their children or themselves, so they bottle it up and one day it just boils over and a tragedy like this happens. Very very sad, and very preventable.

  5. This situation is unbelievable. One why would you have children if you're just going to kill them? Two why would she not be put on medicine if she obviously had a bad case of bipolar disorders and three why in the world would you give a FIOD card to a mentally ill person. It's sad that she had to go through the tragedy of her father killing her mother but don thou think that after she went through that pain she would be so against guns? Maybe since she saw her father do it then she thought it was okay to do, with her being mentally ill and everything. Another thing I don't understand is why would that neighbor lady run away after she shot her baby? That w Oman could have saved the others lives. I know that I would be so scared but some times you have to be the hero instead of running! 

  6. This is a very sad story. I went to high school with Danny
    and when I heard this story on the news I was so shocked. I
    feel that if she had been on medication that this tragedy may have been prevented. I say may have because we don't always know what is going on in a persons mind when something like this happens.

  7. This is a very upsetting and sad story that seems to have almost been preventable. First, I think that she should have been on medication and clearly if she had been professionally diagnosed she should have been prescribed something to take. Whether she did not have a prescription, didn't fill her prescription, or just didn't take what she had we obviously don't know. Regardless if she was on something to control her disorder this tragedy may have been avoidable. Second, the fact that this woman had a FOID card is outrageous. I would hope that someone who wants to have legal access to guns would be looked into more. Someone with bipolar disorder is one of the last people you want to own a gun because it could result in tragedies such as this one. It's is just crazy to think about what factors played a role in 2 people and 3 innocent children losing their lives. I also feel horrible for the woman that saw the mother shoot her baby. I cannot imagine witnessing something like that.