Eric Ringenberg was captured hiding cellphones before setting the house on fire. He’d already killed his toddler and infant sons
A 33-year-old father stashed away the family cellphones before smothering his young sons and setting their home on fire, police said.
Eric Ringenberg, 33, then hanged himself in the basement as smoke filled their Bloomington, Illinois, home. His children, identified only as 2-year-old CR and infant RR, were with him in the basement when firefighters rushed into the house Tuesday morning, WMBD reported.
The smoke eventually woke up Ringenberg’s 32-year-old wife, Pamela, who couldn’t find her cellphone. She searched the house for her loved ones, but couldn’t find anyone.
Pamela Ringenberg [right], was awakened by smoke, but the phones had been hidden by Eric [left] who had also killed their two sons in the basement before setting the home on fire and taking his own life
“Pamela Ringenberg frantically searched for her family members, but was unable to find them,” police said in a statement. She was treated at for smoke inhalation.
Investigators later found home surveillance video showing Ringenberg hiding several phones, including Pamela’s, in a kitchen cabinet. He was also captured starting the basement fire after killing his sons, cops said.
An autopsy conducted later Tuesday confirmed Ringenberg’s death was a suicide, cops Bloomington police said.
Investigators at the Ringenberg’s home after the multiple murder-suicide where Eric Ringenberg killed his two sons and set the house on fire
According to reports in the Pantagraph newspaper, the couple were both IT employees at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, a company spokeswoman confirmed. Pamela is an IT analyst-governance risk compliance at State Farm and attended Illinois State University. Eric Ringenberg who attended Lincoln College in Normal, was also an IT analyst.
Pamela posted to her a message to friends on her Facebook: “Friends and family. I do not have my phone so I could not reach you all directly nor will I be monitoring Facebook for quite some time….There will be some news coming out soon and I ask you just refrain from judgement and understand this is a very difficult time. Please just pray for all my family. Thank you,” she wrote.
According to official police reports the outcome of the autopsy on the bodies show that the two children died from strangulation via ligature while Eric Ringenberg’s death was a suicide. Video from in-home surveillance cameras provides evidence of Eric’s sole role in the deaths of the children. Cameras also show the fire was intentionally set by Eric Ringenberg after the children were already dead.