What is believed to be the body of Cristy Campbell, 32, of Glen Carbon was found in Silver Lake by a search party Thursday morning.
Authorities say the baby was the only occupant found in the auto that went into Silver Lake around 6 a.m. Thursday in Highland, Illinois, about 30 miles east of St. Louis.
A body has been pulled from the same St. Louis-area lake where a baby was found inside a auto, and police say the case is also connected to a fatal house fire.
The sheriff thanked the responding agencies, including the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Illinois State Police, the Highland fire, EMS and police departments, the Illinois Department of Conservation, the Glen Carbon fire and police departments, the State Fire Marshal's Office and the Madison County Child Advocacy Center. An adult died in the fire but six children, siblings ranging from very young to teenagers, escaped.
Justin Campbell was pronounced dead at the fire scene at 7:54 a.m. Thursday by Madison County Coroner Investigator Sakina T. Hall.
Funeral arrangements for both Justin and Cristy Campbell were pending. Two of the children ran to a nearby Walmart for help. Now authorities say that incident is most likely related to a fatal fire in a nearby community.
A gun was also found in the vehicle, the Post-Dispatch said. Prosecutors said he caused bodily harm to Cristy Campbell, then known as Cristy L. Brueggemann, by slapping her in the head when she was 16 weeks pregnant. Six children were inside the home at the time and got out safely. "She was happier than I had seen her in a long time", Ricker said.
She was awarded custody of the children when the divorce was finalized later that year, the Post-Dispatch reported. He was sentenced in March 2006 to probation and fined $500.
The neighbor, Sherry Ricker, told the newspaper that she saw Cristy Campbell and held her infant son just three days earlier.
On May 10, 2012, the couple appeared in court together and Cristy Campbell asked for the protection order to be dismissed; it was. She alleged in court papers that he "abuses me on a weekly basis", including punching and choking her. She was allowed to take parenting classes in exchange for the charges being dropped.
Authorities said at the news conference that they had answered about 50 calls at the house since 2010, including hangup 911 calls, barking dog calls and some domestic calls.