Boy heard scream, bangs as wife, girl killed in Crystal Lake

Eleven-year-old Juan Viveros heard a scream and several bangs Thursday night while playing at his friend's Crystal Lake home that he later would learn were the sounds of a gruesome double murder.

"We wanted to play darts. We started watching Netflix. The parents started fighting. We hear a scream and then a bang," Juan said Friday morning at his home with family members who were visibly shaken by what had happened. "I thought something bumped into something and fell. We were worried and didn't know what to do."

Ryan Yarber, 31, of Crystal Lake faces four counts of first-degree murder charges in the deaths of his wife Allania S. Yarber, 31, and a 15-year-old girl at their home on Marian Parkway, authorities said Friday. The family requested the girl not be identified, McHenry County Coroner Anne Majewski said.

Autopsies showed that both died from multiple gunshot wounds, Majewski said.

Yarber is being held in McHenry County jail after his arrest Thursday night, authorities said. He will appear for a bond hearing at 8 a.m. Saturday at the McHenry County courthouse, 2200 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock.

The Yarbers' modest single-story house is on a street lined with huge oak trees forming a canopy in a tidy neighborhood just south of Route 176.

Neighbors said the family had moved to Crystal Lake last October from Oregon. Eight people lived in the house: the couple, twin sisters, two brothers, a friend and a grandmother. One of the twins, the friend and the grandmother were not home when the murders occurred, having left on a trip to Virginia, according to neighbors.

Juan, who lives two doors down, was playing with one of the boys who lived there. The pair were in the boy's bedroom away from where the murders happened.

Police were called to the home a little after 8 p.m. for a report of a female armed with a knife. As officers headed to the house, authorities said they got additional information indicating a man in the home was armed with a handgun.

Officers discovered a 31-year-old woman and 15-year-old girl had been shot multiple times inside the home. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Police recovered a semiautomatic handgun at the scene.

Juan said he heard three or four bangs.

"We locked the bedroom door," he said. "We heard the police come. They went through all the rooms."

Police put blankets over the heads of the two boys, Juan said, so they wouldn't see what had happened.

Juan said he was taken to the police station and didn't get home for several hours. His mother, Maribel Hernandez, heard what had happened and ran to the house, but police wouldn't let her in and she didn't know for an hour where her son was, she said.

Juan's parents said the kids played together often but only were casually acquainted with the adults in the family.

On Friday morning, police tape still blocked off the home and three police vehicles were parked on the street, but that was removed and all was quiet by early afternoon. A badminton net was in the home's front yard and neighbors said many kids on the block played together.

Cortney Block has lived across the street for nine years.

"I wasn't too involved with them," she said Friday, noting there were always a lot of kids playing in the street. "It was very, very unexpected and super unfortunate. We're really sad for the kids."

The shooting remains under investigation by Crystal Lake police, the McHenry County state's attorney's office and the coroner's office.

Police said the shooting was an isolated case.

• Daily Herald staff writer Lee Filas contributed to this story.

Ryan Yarber, 31, of Crystal Lake, is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of two females in a Crystal Lake home. Courtesy of McHenry County Jail
  A balloon was placed as a tribute to a 31-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl shot and killed Thursday at a home along Marian Parkway in Crystal Lake. Mick Zawislak/
  A 31-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl were shot and killed Thursday in this home off Marian Parkway in Crystal Lake. Mick Zawislak/
  Police stood outside a home off Marian Parkway in Crystal Lake where a 31-year-old woman and a 15-year-old girl were shot and killed Thursday. Mick Zawislak/
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