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Police: Two 24-year-olds found dead, each from single shot to the head

STERLING – The two 24-year-olds found dead Sunday in a Sterling home were killed by single gunshot wounds to the head, and a gun was found at the scene, police said this afternoon.

The bodies of Brittney L. Long of Sterling and her ex-boyfriend, Duane J. Briggs, of Freeport, formerly of Oregon and Mount Morris, were found around 6:40 p.m. Sunday in a house at 813 First Ave., Detective Sgt. Todd Messer said.

Police were called to the rental home to conduct a welfare check after family members became concerned when Long failed to attend a family event and their calls went unanswered, Messer said in a news release.

Police have not confirmed whether it was a murder-suicide, but Messer did say the deaths are an isolated incident, and there is no danger to the public.

According to a posting he made Thursday on his Facebook page, Briggs was hoping to get full custody of his infant son “in the next few months.” The child’s mother was not mentioned by name.

On Aug. 1, 2018, Long was granted an order of protection against Briggs in Stephenson County that was vacated Aug. 21 at her request.

According to court records, on Jan. 15, Briggs was sentenced in Stephenson County Court to 4 years’ probation for three counts of aggravated battery to a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest, stemming from an arrest on July 12, 2018, in which he also was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery, interfering with the reporting of a domestic battery, resisting, and possession a firearm and ammunition without a FOID card. The five lesser charges were dismissed at sentencing.

On Jan. 17, Long was sentenced in Stephenson County, to 6 months of supervision for disorderly conduct, also stemming from the July 12 incident.

A little over 3 weeks ago, on Oct. 11, Briggs was sentenced in Stephenson County to 2 years of court supervision for felony DUI.

He also had misdemeanor convictions, in Ogle County for domestic battery in 2014, and in Stephenson for criminal damage to property in 2015, and for reckless conduct in 2017.

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