JANESVILLE — Police said Tuesday afternoon they had not identified a suspect or person of interest in the shooting deaths of two women in Janesville early Monday morning.
The Rock County Medical Examiner’s Department identified the women Tuesday as Siearaha J. Winchester, 30, and Brittany N. Mcadory, 27.
Lt. Charles Aagaard, who heads the police detective bureau, said investigators believe a handgun was used.
They also believe the shootings occurred where the women were found, in the 3200 block of Midvale Drive on the city’s east side, he said.
Law enforcement agencies in Illinois are providing assistance in the case, Aagaard said. A black, four-door Jeep SUV that belonged to Mcadory was found abandoned on Interstate 90 at Hoffman Estates near Chicago soon after the shootings.
Police have discovered Mcadory recently had moved to Joliet, Illinois, and investigators were trying to determine where in Joliet she lived, Aagaard said.
Winchester lived on Osborne Avenue on Janesville’s south side, he said.
Asked late Tuesday afternoon if a suspect or person of interest had been identified, Aagaard said “not really,” but investigators were “working through names.”
Aagaard said Winchester and Mcadory arrived at the TA Express truck stop, a short distance from the place they were shot, at about 2 a.m. Monday and went into the convenience store, apparently using the restroom. They left 10 to 15 minutes later, but police do not know where they went or where they were before they were shot about an hour later.
Police believe the women were alone in the Jeep when they left the TA Express.
, but video was not clear enough to confirm they were alone in the Jeep the entire time.
Aagaard would not say what kind of a handgun was used, but police believe it was the only weapon. An early report by another news agency that the assault included a stabbing was incorrect.
Any discussion of motive would be conjecture. In a few days, police might have ideas about what happened.
A police officer early in the investigation said the women were “targeted,” but Aagaard said that was premature. He pointed to Chief Dave Moore’s comment on Monday, when he said police do not know whether the person or person who shot the women pose any threat to the community. He said people always should be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity.
Aagaard said he has seven detectives and six members of the department’s Street Crimes Unit along with three shifts of patrol officers at his disposal in what is a complicated investigation.
Police are working to first capture the most time-sensitive information, such as video evidence that could be deleted if not saved, Aagaard said.
“Our focus is on trying rebuild final the moments of their lives,” including a chronology of where they were at different times,” Aagaard said, adding that surveillance video will play a large role in this task.
As for rumors about the killings that have spread on social media: “That’s the nature of social media, I guess. I would just ask that if people aren’t sure whether the information they are putting out is false or not, I would encourage them not to do that.”
The 911 call alerting police came from someone driving by, who stayed with the women until police got there. The caller had no connection to the women or the crime.
“Just a good citizen,” Aagaard said.