Hundreds gathered in Mount Pulaski on Monday in honor of five members of the Gee family, who were remembered as “simple people.” Friends and family members spoke during an emotional 30-minute funeral service inside the Family Life Center. Meanwhile, authorities released additional information about a truck wanted in connection with their murders.
Hundreds gathered in Mount Pulaski on Monday in honor of five members of the Gee family, who were remembered as “simple people.”
Friends and family members spoke during an emotional 30-minute funeral service inside the Family Life Center. Both sides of the room were lined with pictures of the family. A slideshow of pictures was shown on the side of the room.
At the front of the room, sat one casket. The casket was flanked by two tables. Two green urns sat on each table.
Family friend John Johnson began the service by asking everyone to turn and tell someone “I love you.”
“I wanted us to do that so we can realize that it ain’t always about us,” he said. “Sometimes we have to think about others, because we never know,” Johnson said. “We never know and I think sometimes we forget.”
Pastor Dayle Badman told the crowd: "I think the best way you can honor this loving family is to go on loving. And to each day, try to live your lives so that you can make them proud. Because they’re here. They’re all around you. And they’re going to be around you for eternity until that sweet day when you go home to join them.”
The family was buried in Leanna Cemetery in Chestnut.
Meanwhile, authorities released additional information about a truck wanted in connection with their murders.
The truck is described as a gray or silver primer color small pickup with a squared-off front end. The truck, possibly a Ford Ranger or a Chevrolet S-10, has vertical exhaust pipes located rearward of the rear tires and between the tailgate.
“However, it should also be noted that the pipes could easily have been sawn off by this point in time,” according to a release put out by a task force of law enforcement agencies that’s investigating the slayings.
The truck was seen late Sept. 20 or early Sept. 21 in the area where Raymond “Rick” and Ruth Gee and their three children – Justina Constant, 16, Dillen Constant, 14, and Austin Gee, 11 – were found dead inside their Beason home about 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. All were beaten to death.
The couple’s 3-year-old daughter, Tabitha, survived the attack and has been hospitalized in Peoria.
The task force asks anyone who knows someone with such a truck, regardless of make or model, to call a tip line at (217) 732-3000.
Authorities have said that evidence collected at the Gee’s home suggests a “violent struggle” took place during the attacks and that the killer or killers likely were injured.
The public is urged to be on the lookout for anyone with recent injuries to their arms, head and upper body. Such injuries could include cuts, bruises, contusions, abrasions and/or hair loss.
Authorities say it’s possible the attacker or attackers may not have sought medical treatment.
More than a dozen law enforcement officers from various police agencies are involved in the investigation.
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