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Six children escape from the Illinois house fire, two adults found dead

Cristy Campbell has been deemed a ‘person of interest’ in fire that left one person dead

(Glen Carbon Police)

ST. LOUIS – Two people died Thursday in what a coroner called “inter-related” cases in which a fatal house fire in the neighborhood of St. Louis, followed by a baby found alive in a car in a pond.

The chain of events began around 5:30 pm, when the children ran to a Wal-Mart store in Glen Carbon, Ill., and called 911 to report their house was on fire. Authorities say that an adult died in the fire, but six children, brothers and sisters, ranging from the very young to teens, escaped. Property records showed the house belonged to Cristy Lynn Campbell.

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Around 6 a.m., a car was found submerged in Silver Lake in Highland, Illinois, about 16 miles from where the house burned. A child was found alone in the car. Rescuers administered CPR and the child was taken to a quiet St. Louis in the hospital. The situation of the child was not immediately available.

A body was found in the lake just before noon. The authorities have not published details.

Madison County, Illinois, Coroner Steve Nonn said in a press release that his agency was investigating “two connected” incidents that involved the deaths of two Madison County residents.” Nonn did not elaborate and did not return phone messages seeking comment.

Highland Fire Capt. Brad Menz said that the car appeared to have rolled down a hill in the lake in the vicinity of Illinois Route 143.

Soon after the car was found, Glen Carbon police has an advisory describing Campbell as a “person of interest” and “possible danger.”

Campbell has seven children, authorities said. Six escaped the fire in the house, and Glen Carbon Fire Chief Ralph, And said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the authorities suspect that the child found in the lake is the seventh.

Court records show Campbell, 32, who is married to Justin Campbell on Nov. 3, 2006. She filed for legal separation in September 2010, but the case was dismissed two months later.

In April 2012, Cristy Campbell obtained an emergency protection against her husband and filed for divorce, stating in court papers that he “abuse me on a weekly basis,” including punching and choking her.

“He has told me that I was a no good woman,” Campbell wrote in her application for the protection of the order.

The divorce was granted in February 2013.

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