A man was arrested early last week in Michigan, in connection with possibly four homicides that occurred last October in Pembroke Township. The suspect is being held in Kankakee as the investigation unfolds.
James E. Beals, 55, was taken into custody Monday, March 6, 2017 by U.S. Marshels in Benton Harbor, Mich., with a warrant for the murder of Relph Ledet, 46, according to Kankakee’s Daily Journal. Ledet’s body was found October 1, 2016, by Kankakee County Sheriff Mike Downey, in the driveway of 6600 S 17250 East Road in Pembroke Township Ill., with multiple gunshot wounds to the head.
Police also suspect a connection between this murder and a triple homicide that occurred October 2, 2016. Reginald Neal, 56, and his two sons, Daneglo Neal, 24, and Davante Hopkins, 21, were found in their home at 4300 S 15500 East Road with multiple gunshot wounds. The two crimes were committed within about two miles of one another.
Sheriff Downey stated at a press conference at the time of the crimes, “At this time, it appears that the shootings may be related.”
Police told Kankakee’s Daily Journal that the hour homicides appear to be related because of the nature of the killings. Aside from all the victims having multiple gunshot wounds to the head, police also told the Chicago Tribune that another connection is that there seems to be no sign of forced entry into the houses or struggle of the victims.
Police said that all four victims had lived together and all had criminal records, with offences including drugs and dogfighting. According to an article ABC 7 Eyewitness News released Monday, Ledet had a first-degree murder charge that dated back to 1989. However, it was also stated that while many dogs were recovered from the house, none of them seemed to have been abused by their owners, and no drugs were found in the residency.