LINCOLN, Ill. All five family members found slain in their central Illinois home Monday were killed by "blunt force trauma," a sheriff said Thursday, though he declined to provide other details, including whether authorities have recovered any weapons.
Logan County Sheriff Steven Nichols reported the autopsy finding after some of his initial comments raised more questions about the killings, particularly his statement that deputies responded after a 911 call reporting possible shots fired. Nichols said Wednesday that none of the victims had been shot.
Asked Thursday how one person might inflict deadly blunt force on five people, Nichols declined to comment.
Investigators finished combing through the crime scene in the small town of Beason on Wednesday night, Nichols said. A state police trailer and other official vehicles that had been parked in front of the home for days were no longer there Thursday, and a main street that had been blocked off was open.
"The forensic evidence in this case is significant," Nichols said. He said there were hundreds of fingerprints, blood samples and DNA evidence but didn't elaborate.
Raymond "Rick" Gee, 46, and Ruth Gee, 39, were found dead in the home Monday with their children, 16-year-old Justina Constant, 14-year-old Dillen Constant and 11-year-old Austin Gee.
The Gees' youngest daughter, a 3-year-old who survived the attack, was in critical but stable condition Thursday; her injuries also were caused by blunt force, Nichols said. A deputy has been assigned to the hospital but, contrary to published reports, no other family members have been placed in protective custody, he said.
Nichols has not said when authorities believe the family was killed nor whether investigators have identified any suspects.
Nichols asked the public Wednesday for help in finding a gray pickup, possibly a Ford that was painted only in primer, that was spotted in the area late Sunday.