SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WAND) - The woman a Shelbyville murder suspect is accused of killing was pregnant when she died, according to a friend WAND-TV interviewed.
This friend, Hannah Harden, told the station Monday night more about 22-year-old Samantha Cushing. She said Cushing and the suspect, 24-year-old Deven Barger, were dating off-and-on.
WAND-TV learned from Harden that Barger is the father of a 3-year-old child found safe at the end of a chase across multiple counties he was involved in earlier Monday.
ISP was called to help investigate a murder in Shelbyville at Will and 1st streets. Once on scene a chase with the suspect ensued with Shelby County and ISP. The chase headed into Christian County on Illinois State Route 29 around 8:25 a.m., according to the Christian County Sheriff's Department.
Police found out that the suspect had a 3-year-old child in the vehicle. Speeds of the chase reached about 60-70 mph before it slowed near Taylorville. The suspect began communicating with ISP out of his window.
The chase ended at Lincoln Trail in Taylorville, just east of Illinois State Route 48.
According to the Christian County Sheriff, the chase took a while because they wanted to make sure the child was safe. At times officers witnessed the child on the suspect's lap in the drivers seat.
Police say the child was safe when they arrested the suspect, who the station learned through the Illinois Department of Corrections was released in December on parole.
Barger has a lengthy criminal history, per court records, including multiple vehicle thefts in Shelby, McLean and Macon counties. He was also sentenced for several 2017 charges of a felon having/using a gun or weapon and aggravated fleeing police in Christian County.
In another 2017 case, he was sentenced for aggravated battery of a police officer in Shelby County and began a prison sentence for that crime in August 2017.
ISP and the Shelby County Sheriff's Office are investigating.