Amy Leichtenberg’s two son’s killed by their father; Coroner: Drugs found near dead brothers; 1 stabbed


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“Connolly had only been given the right to keep his sons overnight and without supervision late last year after earlier violating a court order of protection.”

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Wednesday September 9, 2009

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Leroy buries two boys killed by their father

http://www.dailyillini.com/news/illinois/2009/04/04/leroy-buries-two-boys-killed-by-their-fatherCoroner: Drugs found near dead brothers; 1 stabbed

The Associated Press

April 4th, 2009 - 7:31 AM

Tagged with: Amy Leichtenberg, crime, Duncan Leichtenberg, Dylan Woodridge, Leroy,Michael Connolly, Noah Stengel, Robert Cofoid, Tim Vollstedt, Illinois

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Steve Smedly, The Pantagraph, The Associated PressDiane Gillespie and other employees of the LeRoy, Illinois IGA grocery store wait to release balloon's in memory of Duncan Leichtenberg, 9, and brother Jack Leichtenberg, 7, as one of the two hearses drives through LeRoy on Friday. The boys were laid to rest Friday morning in LeRoy. The two boys bodies were discovered Sunday in Putnam County, near Henry, Illinois along with their father, Michael Connolly. The three had been missing since March 8 and are victims of a murder suicide.
Steve Smedly, The Pantagraph, The Associated Press

LEROY, Ill. — One of two central Illinois brothers found dead in their father's car was stabbed in the back, while prescription drug bottles were found at the scene, a coroner said Friday, as the boys were buried in the small town where they lived.

However, autopsies for 9-year-old Duncan Leichtenberg and his 7-year-old brother, Jack, were inconclusive and causes of death were pending toxicology tests, Putnam County Coroner Robert Cofoid said in a statement.

Jack had a single stab wound in the back, Cofoid said. Results may take up to three weeks.

The boys' family had their last names legally changed this week from Connolly after they were discovered in a car belonging to their father, 40-year-old Michael Connolly of Bloomington. Investigators believe he killed his sons, then committed suicide.

Michael Connolly died from hanging, Cofoid said Friday. His body was discovered about 60 yards away from the boys' bodies.

Also Friday, more than 300 relatives, friends and police crowded into the LeRoy Christian Church to mourn the children.

Heaven is a better place because the boys are there, a minister told mourners.

"Jack and Duncan were good kids," the Rev. Tim Vollstedt said, according to The (Bloomington) Pantagraph. "They did nothing to deserve this to happen."

A eulogy for each boy was delivered by his best friend, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"Tell God we said hello," said Dylan Woodridge, who was in 3rd grade with Duncan at LeRoy Elementary School. "Tell him we really miss you too."

Second-grader Noah Stengel said Jack "was my best friend. We played Batman. He was always Batman. And I was Robin."

The brothers went missing March 8 after Michael Connolly didn't return them to their mother after a custody visit. Duncan and Jack were the subject of a national search that ended Sunday night when a 911 call led Putnam County authorities to a rural spot where they were found with their father.

Mourners spilled out of the church and into an adjacent room at Friday's funeral, where the boys' closed caskets were decorated with their photos and blue and green flowers. Ribbons in those colors, the boys' favorites, also hung on trees and signs around LeRoy the past few weeks.

Amy Leichtenberg, the boys' mother, sat in the church's front row with family. The children were buried at a local cemetery later Friday.

Leichtenberg and Connolly divorced in 2006 and had a difficult relationship that included numerous disputes over the children. Connolly was barred from contact with Leichtenberg, and the couple picked up and dropped off the boys at the LeRoy Police Department before and after custody visits.

Connolly had only been given the right to keep his sons overnight and without supervision late last year after earlier violating a court order of protection.

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