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Dixon homicide-suicide victims identified

DIXON – The identities of the grandmother and the grandson who fatally stabbed her, then himself, Tuesday afternoon were released shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

According to a release from the Lee County Sheriff's Department:

Investigators believe that after a fight Tuesday afternoon, Theodore "Ted" Howard, 27, stabbed his grandmother, Josephine "Jo" Howard, many times in the Woodland Shores home they shared with other family members.

He then stabbed himself many times and left the home. Deputies, responding to a 2:40 p.m. 911 call reporting a man covered in blood and holding a knife, found him in the front yard and took the knife away.

He was taken to KSB Hospital and later died.

Deputies then found the body of the elder Howard inside the home at 1612 Joliet Way, the release said.

She would have been 72 Wednesday.

Jo Howard's daughter, Shirley Bender, 51, said Wednesday afternoon that there was no fight, and that her son, who has mental health issues and is on a variety of medications, "just snapped."

"The doctors keep changing his meds," she said.

Her mother was sitting at her computer when she was attacked, Bender said, and there was no sign of struggle in the home.

The deaths are being investigated by the sheriff's department and Illinois Crime Scene Investigators.

Woodland Shores is 6 miles west of Dixon off Rock Island Road.

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