Monday, October 31, 2011

Coroner Rules Murder/Suicide In Deaths Of Man, Niece

"EUREKA, IL — The deaths of a Eureka man and his 13-year-old niece earlier this month appear to be a murder-suicide, the Woodford County coroner said Monday.

"Troy Burwell, 39, and his niece, Cheyenne Burwell, were found dead by firefighters responding to a house fire Oct. 5 at the Lake Road home where they both resided.

"It appears Troy Burwell shot his niece before turning the gun on himself, Coroner Tim Ruestman said. The 39-year-old’s gunshot wound was self-inflicted and at point-blank range, he said, while the teen’s wound was from farther away.

"Ruestman declined to speculate on who set the fire. But he did say both Burwells were apparently alive when it started, based on new toxicology test results that show high carbon monoxide levels.

"`We don’t know who started the fire, but it was started in the basement,` he said.

"He said there was no obvious history of problems between the relatives that preceded the deaths. The two relatives are believed to be the only ones home at the time of the incident.

"`That’s really what we’re working on now, is a motive,` Ruestman said."


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