BEASON -- Searchers scoured the ditches and soybeans fields that border the small town of Beason on Tuesday as police vowed to find whoever killed five family members whose bodies were found Monday in their home on the northern edge of town.
Confirmed dead were Raymond "Rick" Gee, 46, his wife, Ruth Gee, 39, Justina Constant, 16, Dillen Constant, 14, and Austin Gee, 11.
A 3-year-old girl taken from the scene remained in a Peoria hospital Tuesday. Officials there referred calls about her condition to police.
"This was a brutal homicide against an entire family. We are determined to identify and arrest those responsible," Logan County Sheriff Steve Nichols said at a Tuesday morning news conference.
Nichols provided few details to reporters beyond the identities of the victims.
"Leads have been developed and each is being vigorously pursued," said Nichols.
Without a suspect in custody, Nichols urged residents to be cautious and lock their doors.
"Until we find this person, we consider them armed and dangerous," he said.
Nichols declined to release information on how the family members died, saying autopsies were scheduled Tuesday in Peoria. Autopsy results were not released Tuesday night.
Police remained outside the Gee home on Broadway Street on Tuesday and, as the day went on, police canine and equestrian units joined a ground search of soybean fields just north of the home and on the south edge of the town along Broadway Street. The Logan County canine unit spent more than an hour walking the boundaries of the Gee property before focusing on the field adjacent to the home.
The Beason Fire Department served as a command post for the emergency crews from multiple state and local agencies called to help with the search. A state police crime scene trailer was parked in the driveway of the home, where investigators worked through the night.
Beason resident Marjorie Wright went to the Logan County Safety Complex to watch the Tuesday morning new conference in hopes of learning more about the deaths of her neighbors.
"We were hoping we would get more information, find out exactly what happened. All we have right now are rumors," said Wright, whose children were friends with the school-age victims.