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Police say man killed ex-girlfriend then himself in Sterling

Officers found 24-year-old Brittany Long and 24-year-old Duane Briggs dead inside a residence while conducting a welfare check Sunday.

STERLING, Illinois-- A 24-year-old man and woman were found dead in Sterling Sunday night according to a statement from Detective Sgt. Todd Messer with Sterling Police.

The Sterling Police Department conducted a welfare check on 24-year-old Brittney Long in the 800 block of First Avenue in Sterling, Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 3 just before 7 p.m. Officers were called by concerned family members after Long missed a family event and did not answer their calls.

At the property, police found Long and her reported former boyfriend, 24-year-old Freeport resident Duane Briggs, both deceased and having sustained a single gunshot wound to the head. Investigators also recovered a firearm at the scene.

Police say early evidence indicates Briggs shot Long and then shot himself.

"We do know that there was a past history between them and we're sorting through all the evidence," says Detective Sergeant Todd Messer of the Sterling Police Department.

Police say Briggs and Long had a baby who wasn't in the home during the welfare check.  The baby is now safe with a relative.

"They moved in about 4 or 5 months ago and they stayed there by themselves," says Howard Clark, a neighbor on First Avenue.  "Like I said they kept to themselves."

The investigation is ongoing. The Sterling Police Department was assisted at the scene by the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services and the Whiteside County Coroner’s Office.