What their neighbors described as a couple's tumultuous relationship ended with both being found dead Monday morning in an apparent murder-suicide.
Pekin police cordoned off the one-story home at 1800 Fawnridge Lane in the recently developed Deerfield Estates subdivision that neighbors said was the home of Heather and Brent Sidell.
Police said it appears the two people found shot to death inside were the home's residents, but by late afternoon they had not yet formally identified the victims. In a news release Monday evening, Pekin police Public Information Officer Don Jolly said the deceased were a 35-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man.
While murder-suicide also had not yet been designated their causes of death, nobody else was being sought, Jolly said.
"At this time, we believe it was the man" who fired a handgun that was found on the home's floor between his legs, Jolly said.
The woman's body was found in the home's foyer close to the front door, which had at least one bullet hole through it, Jolly said. The man was found about 10 feet behind her, he said. No one else was in the house or apparently living there at the time, he said.
Police were called to the home about 11:30 a.m. by the woman's parents after they could not contact her. Jolly said the man's body could be seen through a small clear-glass panel in the front door, but that the body of the woman, closer to the door, could not.
"Officers responded to the residence on a well-being check. Upon officers' arrival, they were unable to make contact with anyone at the residence. Forced entry was made, and both bodies were discovered," Jolly said in a news release.
While multiple shell casings were found inside, Jolly said an autopsy would be required to determine how many times and where each victim was shot.
The incident is under investigation by the Pekin Police Department, the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Unit and the Tazewell County Coroner's Office.
"This is just a shame, doggone it!" said next-door neighbor Dennis Livengood.
In January 2010, Heather Sidell obtained an emergency order of protection against her husband, according to court records. It was dismissed for lack of prosecution two months later.
That fit the general time line of domestic troubles between the couple that several neighbors, as they gathered Monday across the street from the Sidell home, said they had observed.
"She kicked him out, but she let him back in," said Maria Eertmoed, who lives across Fawnridge from the home. "There's been a lot of problems over there.
"Last year, the police escorted him out," Eertmoed said. She described an incident in which a police tactical unit came to the Sidells' home in armor and assault weaponry. Jolly said he was not yet aware of previous domestic incidents at the home.
Brent Sidell owned a Dodge Viper, the neighbors said.
"He'd rev it up in the garage real loud," Eertmoed said. "When he'd drive it off, he'd just speed down the street. That wasn't safe for the kids around here."
"We hadn't had any trouble with them, just the (engine) noise," Livengood said.