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Woman in murder-suicide had family history

KANKAKEE, Ill., Dec. 22 (UPI) -- An Illinois woman who shot and killed her boyfriend and her three children was not the first in her family to shoot and kill a loved one, court records show.

Sara McMeen, who turned the gun on herself the killings, suffered from bipolar disorder and postpartum depression, and her mental-health problems had put a strain on her relationship with boyfriend Daniel Warren, his mother Wendy said.

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It was not the first murder involving the McMeen family, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

More than 40 years ago, before McMeen was born, her father shot and killed his first wife in Streator, Ill., in front of the couple's 2-year-old son, Livingston County court records show.

Louis A. McMeen had been discharged from a psychiatric hospital a month earlier after suffering "an acute schizophrenic episode," records show, and a jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity in the Jan. 25, 1971, slaying of Pamela Bradley McMeen.

McMeen remarried, and Sara was born about 10 years after the shooting.

On Dec. 16 Sara shot and killed Warren, their daughter Maggie Warren, age 10 months, and her two other children, 8-year-old Skyler Lemke and 7-year-old Ian Lemke, before committing suicide, authorities said.

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Wendy Warren said she spoke with her son in the morning of the day of the shootings and nothing seemed amiss.

"She just snapped," she said of Sara. "I just can't make sense of it."

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