Breaking News
More () »

St. Louis Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | KSDK.com

3 killed in Bethalto homicide remembered as 'loving, fun, and full of life'

"My nephew was a good, loving and funny kid. We are hurting and we all are missing him," said Ann Davis, John McMillian's aunt.

BETHALTO, Ill. — On a chilly Friday night, they gathered in a huge circle, held lots of candles and hugged each other as tears streamed down their faces.

Family members, friends and neighbors held a candlelight vigil outside the Bethalto home where last Thursday 59-year-old Shari Yates, her 32-year-old son Andrew "A.J." Brooks and their 30-year-old friend, John McMillian were all found dead.

Police said each was shot to death during a violent, multi-state crime spree allegedly committed by Brady Witcher and Brittany McMillan.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - The two people accused of a multi-state crime spree that culminated in a triple homicide in Bethalto last week have waived extradition and will be transferred to Madison County. The Madison County State's Attorney's Office confirmed that Brady Witcher, 41, and Brittany McMillan, 28, are awaiting transfer from the St.

RELATED: Couple charged with 9 counts of 1st Degree Murder in Bethalto triple homicide case

RELATED: Couple on 'Most Wanted' list arrested in Hazelwood, linked to triple slaying in Bethalto, Illinois

Andrew "A.J" Brooks lived in the home with his mom.

"I loved John dearly," said Ann Davis, John McMillian's aunt. "John was so much fun. He was an awesome guy, full of so much life."

The suspects are charged with the triple homicide in Illinois as well as other crimes in Alabama and Tennessee.

Crimes that have devastated everyone who knew the three victims

"A.J. was like a brother to me and Shari was like my second mom," said family friend Stephanie Young. "I loved them both so dearly. This horrible tragedy has brought our family and friends closer," 

Before Friday's vigil ended, more mourners arrived and held their candles tightly, while others lit three huge, bright balloons for the three people they'll never forget.

"I just don't understand why anyone would do this to another person. We must celebrate John's life. Not his death," Davis said.

"Our hearts just goes out to John's family and loved ones too. We all are hurting. We all are grieving," said Stephanie Young.

Funeral services for John McMillian will be on Saturday.

Services for Shari Yates and her son will take place on Sunday.


RELATED: Mother Nature plays nice for flights home after the holidays

RELATED: Armed suspect enters south St. Louis home, robs woman doing dishes

RELATED: Former US attorney cited for third DUI in 2 years

RELATED: 3 injured in I-270 shooting in Hazelwood, westbound lanes reopened

RELATED: Former Dojo Pizza owner sentenced to 65 years for sex crimes against children