Second child in critical condition
CHARLESTON -- A Charleston woman and her child were found dead in their home at 802 South Grand Ave., on Thursday, the victims of an apparent homicide.
Lazan T. Balentine, 32, and her 3-year-old son, Knighten Balentine, were pronounced dead at the scene by Mississippi County Coroner Terry A. Parker. Balentine's other son, Kyri Balentine, 4, was also beaten at the residence and was flown to a St. Louis hospital, where he is in critical condition with very serious injuries, Parker said.
According to Paul Johnson, chief of the Charleston Department of Public Safety, the victims all appeared to have been beaten with a blunt object. The bodies of the dead victims will be taken to Farmington for an autopsy. At this time there are no suspects.
In addition to help from Parker and Johnson, Charleston DPS is investigating with assistance by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Crime Scene Specialists.
Contact has been made with Balentine's family in the Chicago area and following the autopsies today, arrangements will be made to return the bodies to the funeral home of the family's choice.
Some information for this article was provided by the SEMO Missouri News Service.