UPDATE: Husband shot wife in murder-suicide

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MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — Police have confirmed the husband was the shooter in a murder-suicide Friday night. Investigators were called to a house at Oklahoma Avenue and Woodlawn Avenue shortly before midnight.

Investigators say 37-year-old Joseph McFarland and 36-year-old Rachel McFarland had some marital issues. They left behind a child. Police won’t say how old the child is.

Centers like Hope of East central Illinois work with domestic violence victims. They say 72 percent of murder-suicide cases involve intimate partners; 94 percent of those cases end up with the female as the victim. They say it’s important to watch out for signs of domestic violence in the relationships around you.

Things like a person being less social or acting scared are indicators. Jealousy and possessiveness in someone’s partner could also be signs of abuse, but in some cases, it can be impossible to tell from the outside.

“If someone discloses to you, it’s really important to tell them ‘I believe you. This is not your fault. You don’t deserve this. I’m here for you if you want to leave,’ because if we don’t say those things, then it’s very likely that that victim may keep it to themselves,” said Hope of East Central Illinois Direct Services Coordinator Angie Hunt.

Hunt says it’s important to know you can reach out for help. If you personally or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, you can call their center at (888) 345-3990.

Police are working to raise money for the family members left behind. You can go to any First Mid Bank to donate. All you have to do is say you want to donate to the Community Care Fund.

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