TROY, Ill. (WTVO) — Two murders in two weeks rocked Troy’s community, which had not seen a murder in over 20 years.
Now, both cases have an identified suspect.
Neil Howard, 44, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the death of his mother, Norma Caraker, 60, according to KMOV.
Caraker was found dead by Troy Police inside a residence on September 13. She reportedly sustained “obvious injuries not consistent with a natural death,” prompting a homicide investigation, according to police.
Howard is alleged to have strangled Caraker to death on September 12, according to court documents. The 44-year-old lived with Caraker and met police at the house before she was found, according to KMOV.
The suspected murder was Troy’s second in just two weeks after Michael Perham, 52, allegedly shot and killed a woman on September 5. Perham was arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder the following day before being released after posting $100,000 bail.
“I’ve been in Troy for over 20 years and I’ve never known anything like this to happen,” said Sarah Meyer to FOX 2.
“There’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of chest pain right now.” said resident Magdalene Keuckelhan. “Tonight when I lay down, I’m probably gonna double-check the door.”
Howard was booked into the Madison County Jail, where he is held on $3 million bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Friday.