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Five family members found slain in Illinois

BEASON, Ill. – A couple and three of their children were found brutally slain inside their home in this tiny central Illinois farming community, and authorities warned residents Tuesday to lock their doors at night while investigators try to identify possible suspects.

Authorities discovered the bodies Monday afternoon after responding to a 911 call about possible shots fired at the address, Logan County Sheriff Steven Nichols said at a news conference.

A 3-year-old girl survived the attack and was taken to a hospital in Peoria, he said. The girl’s grandmother identified her as the couple’s daughter, Tabitha Gee.

The slayings, which Nichols described as a “brutal homicide against an entire family,” occurred at the family’s ranch-style home in Beason, a farming community of a few hundred residents about 140 miles southwest of Chicago.

Nichols declined to provide details about the crime scene or the suspected cause of death, but he said investigators would begin autopsies on Tuesday.

Nichols identified the victims and gave their approximate ages: Raymond “Rick” Gee, 46; Ruth Gee, 39; Justina Constant, 16, Dillen Constant, 14; and Austin Gee, 11.

He did not immediately provide details about the girl who survived.

The family was described as quiet and well-liked by townspeople and relatives.