Man Charged In Antioch Double Murder
UPDATED: 11/4/2013 4:20 p.m.
ANTIOCH, Ill. (CBS) – A man arrested in North Dakota over the weekend has been charged in the murders of two women in north suburban Antioch.
54-year-old Billy Varner was returned to Illinois on Monday.
Varner will appear in Lake County bond court Tuesday morning, said George Filinko, commander of the Lake County Major Crime Task Force.
Varner will face charges of murdering his mother, Dorothy Varner, 82, and another woman, Peggy Henderson, 61.
Antioch Police Chief Craig Somerville told CBS 2 that Varner was arrested on Saturday in Williston, N.D.
Varner was on the run for five days before he was caught, when he walked into a church, armed with a shotgun.
“A man was reported in the church, committing a robbery with a shotgun,” he said. “Parishioners were inside the church, during a mass service.”
According to a news release from the local sheriff in North Dakota, Varner entered the Church of St. Michael in Ray, N.D., around 7:21 p.m. with a gun and demanded money.
After he was given an undisclosed amount, Varner fled in a car.
Williams County Sheriff’s officers soon caught Varner, and found the van he allegedly stole last week, sometime after the bodies of his 82-year-old mother and 61-year-old roommate were discovered in their Antioch apartment.
Somerville said Varner likely was the last person to see the two women alive.
“I’m going to direct any questions regarding cause and manner of death to the Lake County Coroner’s Office at this time. Again, that information’s soon to follow, but it’s not here now,” he said.
The coroner’s office also has not released any information on how the two women died.
Varner also faces multiple charges for the church robbery, police said.
“The Williams County Sheriff’s Office has been working with authorities from Illinois in regards to their investigation into Varner,” according to a news release issued by the sheriff’s office.