More disturbing details are emerging in the murder of an 85-year-oldBellevillewoman. A coroner's jury found that Yoko Cullen was alive in the trunk of her car when it was set on fire. Three people are charged with first-degree murder in her death. Cullen was the victim of an apparent carjacking after she left a bingo hall inCollinsvillelast May.
A Madison County Coroner's investigation showed Cullen had soot residue in her airway which indicated she was alive when the vehicle was set on fire, but they could not say if she was conscious. The suspects are accused of hitting her with a tire iron, and the death has officially been ruled a homicide. Authorities say Cullen was killed by three people, including another bingo player, 38 year old LeTosha Cunningham ofBelleville. Also charged with first-degree murder are 18 year old DaQuan Barnes ofGranite Cityand 27 year old DeMarcus Barnes ofBelleville.