A 9-year-old child accused of causing a mobile home fire that killed three children and two adults in central Illinois has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
The juvenile also was charged with two counts of arson and one count of aggravated arson.
"You know, would he? I don't know if he understands what he's really done," neighbor Liza Munoz said. "Do you know what I mean? Can you imagine? And a child doing that?"
The April 6 fire killed a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds, a 34-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman at the Timberline Mobile Home Park near the village of Goodfield, about 150 miles southwest of Chicago.
Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman said the fire was started intentionally.
No child as young as this one has been accused in a mass killing since at least 2006, according to a mass murder database that tracks all U.S. homicides since then in which four or more people were killed, not including the offender, over a period of 24 hours, regardless of weapon, location, victim-offender relationship or motive.
"I think that he should be followed well into his 30s or 40s," Munoz said. "You know, he should be on probation for a long time for this. It shouldn't just be until he's 18."