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Foster Children Arrested In Couple’s Slaying

August 15, 1986

GARY, Ind. (AP) _ Three teen-agers and an adult were charged with murder Thursday in the shooting deaths of an elderly couple that had cared for two of the teens as foster children, police said.

The four were being held in Tuesday’s slayings of John Rease, 73, a retired steelworker, and his 59-year-old wife, Henrietta, said Sgt. William L. Burns.

The couple had spent many of the 20 years in their small Gary home raising foster children and running a candy store for neighborhood children.

Among those arrested were a 16-year-old foster son living at the Reases’ home and a former foster son of the couple.

Police also were looking for a fifth suspect.

The foster son told police the shootings occurred about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday when four youths entered the house and demanded money, officials said.

The boy said he ran out of the home and attempted to call police after the group began ″pushing the couple around,″ according to Lake County Coroner Daniel D. Thomas.

The teen-ager said he heard gunshots a few minutes after he left.

When police arrived, they found the couple lying face down in a bedroom with their hands tied behind their backs. Rease had been shot once in the neck, and Mrs. Rease had been shot in the abdomen, neck and temple.

The home had been ransacked.

Police arrested Darnell Williams, 21, about a half-mile from the house carrying $200 and watches that are believed to have belonged to the Reases, Burns said.

Williams’ sister, Teresa Newsome, and Gregory Royster, both 18, were arrested a short time later. Royster had lived with the Reases as a foster child, investigators said.

The foster child was arrested after he was questioned late Tuesday night.

Lake County Welfare Department officials declined say how many foster children the Reases had raised.

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