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Wed May 20, 2009
By Carrie Pond
Marion, IL – A southern Illinois man is charged with first-degree murder after police found a body buried in his yard. A state official says 46-year-old Elmer Atkins Jr. of Marion is charged in the death of 51-year-old Matthew Lutchen. Atkins' mother, Edna Atkins, also is charged with concealing a homicidal death. Both were held on bond. Authorities say the two were arrested Tuesday after police found the body in a shallow grave a few feet from the Atkins' mobile home. Lutchen had been dead at least four months but investigators don't yet know how he died.