Deaths of southern Illinois man, boy found on Christmas ruled murder-suicide

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HERRIN, Ill.  — The deaths of a man and his young son in southern Illinois have been ruled a murder-suicide by authorities.

Firefighters discovered their bodies early Christmas Day while putting out a blaze that gutted much of a house in the Williamson County city of Herrin, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of St. Louis.

The Williamson County coroner identified those who died as 46-year-old Richard S. Lowe and his son, 12-year-old Gavin Lowe.

Coroner Michael Burke said investigators believe Richard Lowe fatally shot his son, then shot himself after setting the house on fire. The blaze was reported to police about 2:45 a.m. Wednesday.

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