Town shaken by brutal attack in Anna church - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Town shaken by brutal attack in Anna church

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By Carly O'Keefe - bio | email

ANNA, IL (KFVS) - Anna is a place of picket fences, where American flags fly from nearly every other front stoop; most folks go to church on Sunday, and violent crime is nearly unheard of.

"Husband and wife, or boyfriend girlfriend, arguing. That's about it," said Anna Police Chief Dale Foster.  Chief Foster says before Monday--his department's unsolved caseload mainly centered around a string of recent auto burglaries. But that all changed when 69-year-old Mary Shepard and 76-year-old Leona Mount were brutally beaten inside the First Baptist Church. "Everyone's just scared in town. They just can't believe something like this would happen," Foster said.

Since Monday, shock, fear and rumor have rippled through the small town. "We've had rumors that people have been going to other churches asking for money and getting violent, but that's not been the case. We've checked that out. There have been people in the past month that have been going to different churches asking for assistance, which churches do give, but no one getting violent at any of the other churches," said Foster.

The women are still recovering in St. Louis and Cape Girardeau hospitals. A posting on the Anna First Baptist website Wednesday calls Shepard and Mount miracles, and goes on to say: "The condition of both ladies is stable and they continue to improve."

No arrests have been made, but Anna Police and Illinois State Police investigators continue to work around the clock following leads, although Foster says so far--they've only come up with dead ends.

"Right now, everyone's a suspect," said Foster.

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