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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    IL - Yoko Cullen, 85, abducted & murdered, East St Louis, 20 May 2011

    EDWARDSVILLE • An 85-year-old woman kidnapped in May outside a bingo game in Collinsville and locked into her car trunk was alive when the car burned, a Madison County coroner's jury was told Wednesday.

    Three people have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Yoko Cullen of Belleville, who apparently was the victim of a carjacking as she left the Firemen's Hall on Collinsville Road at the west edge of Collinsville.

    The car was found burned May 20 near the intersection of 11th Street and Falling Springs Road in East St. Louis. Her remains were discovered after the car had been towed to Andy's Auto Body and Towing in Madison. That's why the inquest was in Madison County even though the charges are in St. Clair County.



    EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An investigator says an 85-year-old woman whose body was found in the trunk of her car was alive when her suspected carjackers set the vehicle ablaze.

    Madison County coroner’s investigator Shane Liley testified during an inquest Wednesday in Edwardsville that Yoko Cullen’s windpipe was coated with soot, meaning she died after her car was torched.

    Prosecutors in neighboring St. Clair County have charged three people with first-degree murder.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    She was burned alive?
    Those sick bast**ds!

    I just can hardly think about it - my mom is 85 . . .
    That poor woman.


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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    East St. Louis police Detective Orlando Ward said after the hearing that investigators believe Cullen was acquainted with one of the accused killers, Latosha A. Cunningham, and that both frequently played bingo at the hall.

    Ward said the killers may have believed, mistakenly, that Cullen carried a substantial sum of money. Murder charges were filed against Cunningham, 37, of Belleville; Daquan D. Barnes, 18, of Granite City; and his cousin, Demarcus D. Barnes, 28, of Belleville.

    wow . . . first I heard of this - and in my metro area!
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Two of three defendants accused of carjacking a Belleville woman leaving a bingo game, then setting the car on fire with the woman in the trunk will receive psychological exams to determine if they are fit to stand trial.

    Lawyers for Latosha Cunningham, 38, and DaQuan D. Barnes, 20, requested mental evaluations.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    From December 2013:


    A woman whom prosecutors called the ringleader in the kidnapping and murder of an elderly Belleville woman in 2011 after she left a bingo game was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum penalty of 60 years in prison.

    LaTosha Cunningham, 40, of Belleville, was one of three people charged with the murder of Yoko Cullen, 85, in May 2011. Cunningham will serve the sentence without parole...

    Last month, DaQuan D. Barnes, 21, of Granite City, was sentenced to 60 years without parole for his role in the crime. Also charged in the killing was Barnes’ cousin, Demarcus Barnes, 30, of Belleville. Demarcus Barnes was found mentally unfit to stand trial.

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