Update: Graduate student primary suspect in deaths of wife, child

Police tape surrounds a house at 408 Glenn Drive on Saturday evening. Erica Magda

Police tape surrounds a house at 408 Glenn Drive on Saturday evening. Erica Magda

By Angelina Cole

An Urbana family was pronounced dead in two separate incidents Thursday evening. A 30-year-old woman, Sarah Reed, and her 14-month-old daughter, Madeline Reed-Moss, were found dead in their home and 30-year-old husband and father, Mark Moss, was found dead in his vehicle a few miles away.

A news release from the sheriff’s department said the deaths followed a domestic dispute, but department officials declined to provide further details on the classification.

“The way I understand it, Mark Moss struck a parked vehicle at a high rate of speed and was pronounced dead on the scene,” said Duane Northrup, Champaign County Coroner.

Northrup said a fire reported at Glenn Drive in Urbana earlier Thursday evening. The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call.

“When officers arrived there, they observed an individual backing a car away from the house and speed off,” Northrup said. Officers then attempted to pursue the vehicle but were unsuccessful and returned to the home.

The man speeding away from the burning home was later identified as Moss, according to Lt. Ed Ogle, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

“After the fire was extinguished, officers conducted a secondary search of the home,” Northrup said.

Reed was located in a bedroom. Madeline was found in the car seat of a car parked in the attached garage.

“Reed was found to have suffered trauma not related to the fire and suffered multiple stab injuries,” Northrup said. “The death of Madeline is pending further studies.”

Officials said several small fires that appeared to have been intentionally set were burning inside the home.

Moss is the primary suspect in the deaths, Northrup said.

Moss was a first-year graduate student at the University, according to an e-mail sent to the Graduate School of Library and Information Science’s list server from Dean John Unsworth.

He had an assistantship in the Chemistry Library. Reed was an English teacher at Urbana High School, according to the e-mail.

The school convened its crisis team and notified the faculty and students of Reed’s death Friday afternoon, according to a news release from the district. Counseling services were provided for those who needed them.

Check DailyIllini.com for updates on the story.

The Associated Press contributed to this report