The families of the father and two young boys who died in an apparent murder-suicide this week in Bloomington asked for privacy Friday as they made funeral arrangements.
Authorities say Eric Ringenberg, 33, hid his family's cell phones, strangled his two children to death, and intentionally set a fire in their basement early Tuesday before hanging himself—all as his wife, Pamela, slept upstairs. The boys were 2-year-old Colin and his infant brother, Russell.
Pamela Ringenberg was hospitalized for smoke inhalation. Authorities say home video surveillance cameras show Eric Ringenberg hiding cell phones and setting the fire. They also showed Pamela Ringenberg awaking to the sound of the smoke alarm and searching for her family and cell phone. She eventually fled the home and sought help from neighbors on Brittany Court in northeast Bloomington.
The case has stunned Bloomington-Normal and attracted national media attention. Both Eric and Pamela Ringenberg worked at State Farm. Russell, the baby, was just eight days old.
"The magnitude of their loss is unimaginable,” the statement from the Ringenberg families said Friday, issued via a Bloomington attorney. “The families are not in a position to discuss matters with the general public or media, and will not be for an extended period of time.”
“The families are very appreciative of the first responders, the State Farm community and OSF (St. Joseph) Hospital staff for the assistance they have been provided during and since their tragedy,” the statement continued.
An obituary for Eric, Colin, and Russell was published Friday on the Carmody-Flynn website. Eric is described as a “loving husband and a devoted father.”
“Colin was a bright, loving child who loved Thomas the Train and Paw Patrol. His favorite thing was visiting the firetrucks and fire stations,” the obituary read. Russell “was a happy, loving baby.”
Funeral services on Monday will be private for immediate family only. There will be a public visitation. Memorials may be made to the Colin and Russell Ringenberg Memorial Fund, c/o Soy Capital Bank in Bloomington.
The families said that contributions beyond the expenses of the funeral and burial will be transferred to PATH Inc. of Bloomington, The Baby Fold of Normal, or the Children’s Foundation of Bloomington, for programs in McLean County.
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