Illinois State Police point to similarities in three Metro East slayings

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – Investigators are pointing to similarities in recent homicide cases in the Metro East in which three women were found shot to death in the past month.

At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Calvin Brown, a spokesman for the Illinois State Police, said the women shared similar lifestyles, frequented the same places, and were killed in the same manner.

Brown said Illinois State Police and the East St. Louis and Washington Park police have established extra patrols in the areas.

However, police refused to answer questions from reporters if they believed the women's deaths to be the work of a serial killer.

East St. Louis police were called to the intersection of Jefferson Avenue and Belleview Street just after 4:45 a.m. on July 21 after the body of a woman was discovered just off the roadway.

Officers identified the woman as 38-year-old Amanda Legare of Belleville. She’d been shot once in the neck and was declared dead at the scene.

A friend of Legare's said she moved to the Metro East from Michigan about 10 years ago to care for her sick mother. Legare was the mother of five children, four of whom still live in Michigan with relatives.

Meanwhile, state police are investigating the deaths of two women found shot to death within 24 hours of each other in Washington Park. Sandra Reckmann, 49, was discovered around 5 a.m. on July 9 along a deserted stretch of 56th Street surrounded by overgrown vegetation. Around 3:10 a.m. the following day, the body of 56-year-old Bridgett Williams was located at John Thornton Memorial Park, about five blocks away from where Reckmann was found.

Investigators said Williams and Reckmann were known to hang out in the Washington Park area. Officials have not said if the deaths are connected or if there are other possible victims.

Anyone with information on the investigation is asked to contact Illinois State Police at 618-346-3721 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

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