Baby rescued from lake after mother drowns and father shot dead

Francesca Gillett
Cristy Campbell: The baby's mother was found dead in a lake in Illinois

A baby boy was pulled from a lake after his mother drowned and his father was found shot dead in a burning house.

Mother Cristy Campbell was spotted driving a 4x4 car into the lake in south Illinois, USA just minutes after emergency services were called to reports her family home was on fire.

Firefighters discovered the body of her ex-husband, Justin Campbell, who had been killed from a gunshot wound, inside the burning house.

A quick-thinking paramedic saw the vehicle submerged in the lake and swam through icy water to rescue the three-month-old baby, Julian, and perform CPR on the infant on top of the car’s roof.

The infant’s mother, Cristy Campbell, 32, had drowned in the car.

A gun was later found in the 4x4 but it is not known whether it is the weapon used to shoot Mr Campbell, 37.

Six other children managed to escape the fire at the house, which happened at around 5am on Thursday near Silver Lake in Highland.

The children lived in the house with their divorced parents, who had a history of domestic violence.

Madison County Coroner Steve Nonn told the Associated Press news agency that nothing in the autopsy suggested the gunshot wound was self-inflicted.

On arrival at the house fire, paramedic Todd Zobrist said he saw car headlights which were submerged in about 5 feet of water.

After swimming to the car he said: "It looked like two feet and two hands. And at first I thought it was just a doll, a kid's toy of some sort."

Cristy Campbell's body was found hours later in the lake. Preliminary autopsy results determined she died of "environmental exposure and drowning," coroner Steve Nonn said.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the fire.

Reporting by Associated Press.

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