April 17, 2006 at 8:20 AM CDT - Updated July 2 at 11:49 PM
Easter Morning Terror By: Carly O'Keefe
Pulaski County, IL - Early Easter morning, some unexpected visitors at the Barnett's Pulaski County home weren't carrying baskets full of Easter goodies.
"It sounded like someone was really trying to get in, and after that we heard glass break, so we knew someone was trying to break in on us," said Ragina Barnett.
Barnett says when she heard two men enter the home; she grabbed her cell phone and hide in the closet. Not to escape danger, but instead to get help for her family.
"It was on my mind just get somewhere where I could call 911," said Ragina.
"In the meantime when she was dialing 9-11, I was talking to the guy, I was asking him what do you want? He said where all the money at? And I said man, I'm sick. There ain't no money in here. If you want the purse-it's right over there," said Husband Larry Barnett.
Larry is paralyzed from the chest down. He was horrified as the armed men moved away from him and headed to the other room toward his children---ranging in age from teenagers to toddlers.
"The thing that concerned me most, is that they had guns on my kids, they were tying them up. And that was the most frightening thing right there," said Larry.
Regina's call to police brought investigators to the home and the men fled on foot---evidently leaving empty-handed.
"They had a U-Haul just up the road just a little, so they must have been trying to move us out," said Ragina.
Next-door neighbor Kevin Burns says he noticed a slow moving U-Haul truck driving up and down the street early Sunday morning. Burns believes the men were trying to decide which home to rob---and settled on the Barnett's.
"It could've been us, or our neighbors this way-- you just never know, that's why it's good to be alert," Burns said.
The Barnetts say while Easter began as the scariest day of their lives, they were determined not to let their unwanted guests ruin the holiday.
"We're not going to let this stop us, we'll just thank God that it turned out as well as it did. Because it could have turned out totally different," Ragina said.
Residents say there was a large-scale search for the suspects involving the Illinois State Police Tactical Response Team, Pulaski County Sheriff's deputies and Mounds Police.
The Barnetts say one man was caught shortly after police arrived. Police confirm several suspects fled, but they have yet to confirm any arrests or names of suspects in the case of this home invasion.