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October 22, 2014, 7:36 pm
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970 WMAY News

Police: Custody Dispute Was Motive For Manchester Murders

Several law enforcement agencies have concluded that the killer of five people in the town of Manchester last month was motivated by his belief that the victims were interfering in an ongoing custody battle involving his three-year-old daughter. 


The victims were all relatives of Rita Luark… the mother of gunman Rick Smith’s three-year-old daughter.  Although police had been involved in a custody exchange without incident a month earlier, the situation deteriorated by the time of the killings on April 24th


After Smith killed the five victims… including Rita Luark’s adult daughter Brittney, who was pregnant… he traveled around in a 25-mile radius of Manchester.  Police located him several hours later and fatally shot him when he fired at officers. 


A statement from Illinois State Police say all the investigating agencies have concluded their reviews of the case.

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