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Man who recently killed himself has connection to Dwight homicide victim

Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014 5:42 p.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014 11:11 p.m. CDT

DWIGHT – A former Morris resident who took his own life while fleeing police was a previous acquaintance of Dwight shooting victim Kelli Denker, police said Thursday – but Dwight Police Chief Tim Henson said no suspects have been named in the double slaying of Denker and her mother.

Former Morris resident Joseph R. Sipple, 27, took his life last month while fleeing LaSalle County sheriff's deputies on charges of possession of stolen property. The confrontation occurred June 26 at a residence south of Sheridan in the northeastern part of LaSalle County.

Sipple was an acquaintance of Kelli Denker in 2010, but Henson stressed that investigators have not confirmed anyone as a suspect.

"Under no circumstances did Chief Henson state they have a suspect or any information regarding a suspect," Dwight police said in a news release issued Thursday.

Confusion on whether Sipple was a suspect in the incident was apparent on social media sites after a local radio station posted a report, which was shared through numerous outlets, on Sipple's connection to Kelli Denker. This prompted Henson to send out an updated news release Thursday.

At 4:38 a.m. June 14, a 911 call brought police to the house at 200 W. North St., Dwight, where a man said he’d been shot.

Authorities found Dwight residents Donna Denker, 60, and her daughter, Kelli, 30, dead in their home. Autopsies showed the women were shot to death. The 23-year-old man who made the 911 call survived.

The surviving victim reported to Dwight paramedics that the shooter was a white male, with facial hair, wearing an orange hoodie and possibly a ball cap, according to the latest release.

Two weeks ago, Dwight police said they had recovered a gun which was linked to the homicides. Henson said in his release Wednesday information on where the weapon was found would not be released at this time because it was "case sensitive."

Earlier this month, Dwight police said investigators were continuing to follow up on leads and were waiting on test results to be returned from the state lab.

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