Vandals break into Denair home where homicide occurred

05/11/2011 8:00 PM

05/11/2011 8:11 PM

DENAIR — Two men broke into a home where a fatal assault occurred Sunday night, trying to make off with a truck and several guns, authorities said.

Authorities searched the neighborhood after the men abandoned the truck, but a nearly three-hour search yielded no suspects.

It's not clear if Wednesday's break-in was connected to the Sunday night incident that left Kenneth Wills, 62, dead and his wife, Susan, 61, injured. A 17-year-old girl identified by friends and family as their daughter, Shanna, faces murder and assault charges in the case. Her arraignment Tuesday was continued until next Wednesday.

Neighbors gave chase but couldn't catch the men, described as white, in their late teens or early 20s. One wore a white T-shirt and the other wore a tank top.

Deputies found three rifles taken from the home in the truck; they aren't sure what was in the sack. They shut down all the public schools in Denair, located less than a mile away, as a precaution while they searched backyards for the suspects.

Stanislaus County Sheriff's Sgt. Keith Rakoncza said investigators had not determined if the two events at the house were related. Investigators have not released the weapon used in the attack and would not confirm the speculation the couple was stabbed.

Susan Wills' condition was improving Wednesday, said her daughter, Kristi Duncan. "She's still in the hospital, but she's doing better."

Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at or 209-578-2343.

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