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Jonesboro, IL

Digging for a murder weapon

Digging for a murder weapon
By: Arnold Wyrick

JONESBORO, Ill. - The search for a gun - police believed killed a Jonesboro couple- shifts to the bottom of two ponds.

On Wednesday morning investigators with the Illinois State Police, and Union County Sheriff's office began draining the ponds in Jonesboro City Park. "We have reason to believe a suspect in the case was in the park.  We've thoroughly checked the park.  We've walked the park using metal-detectors.  The only area we hadn't focused on was the ponds," says Union County Sheriff David Livesay.

The police are searching for the weapon that killed Robert Pitts, and his wife Marcia.  The couple were found shot to death in their Jonesboro home in December.  Just last month their son, Robert Pitts junior was indicted by a grand jury, and charged with their murders.

But police have yet to recover the .22 caliber handgun they believe Pitts used to kill his parents.

Now their search is taking them into some muddy bottoms of two ponds near the victims home. "If it's in this pond, I feel confident that with the equipment we have, we can recover it," Sheriff Livesay said.

So after hours of pumping all the water out of the first pond, investigators strapped on chest-waders, grabbed their metal detectors and began probing the muddy terrain.

Neighbors living nearby are hoping the police do find a gun in the drained pond, if it's there. "I hope it's there, and I hope they find it.  Because we have a lot of kids and family's in this park.  And I would hate to see a kid find that," says Dorris of Jonesboro, Illinois.

After searching the muddy bottom of the first pond on Wednesday with no success, police will now focus their search on the second pond in the park. "Of course finding the weapon is crucial to the case.  We feel like we have a good case.  But of course, if we could find the weapon that would be a bonus to the case," Sheriff Livesay said.

Robert Pitts junior is scheduled to back in a Union County courtroom next month. for a pre-trial hearing.

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