|Birth: ||Nov. 26, 1984|
|Death: ||Mar. 14, 2006|
Victor A. Chairs
SPRINGFIELD - Victor A. Chairs, 21, of Springfield died Tuesday, March 14, 2006, at Memorial Medical Center.
He was born Nov. 26, 1984, in Springfield, the son of Glenda Herrin.
Mr. Chairs attended Southeast High School. He worked at Shoe Carnival and the Dublin Pub. He was a former Boy Scout.
Survivors: mother and stepfather, Glenda and James Herrin; grandmother, Parlee Chairs of Springfield; sisters, Shaina and Jaime Chairs and Michelle, Melissa, Farrin and Kailyn Herrin, all of Springfield; brother, Matthew Herrin of St. Louis; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins; and companion, Cherrelle Brinker of Springfield.
Services: noon Tuesday, Abundant Faith Christian Center, the Rev. Dennis Hawthorne officiating. Burial: Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Walker Funeral Service and Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Fire chars outside of double-murder site / Arson squad investigating cause of blaze
Arson investigators were called to a suspicious fire Sunday that charred the outside of a house where two Springfield men were found shot to death last week.
Victor A. Chairs, 21, and Santiago D. Roberts , 22, who are believed to be cousins, each died of a single gunshot wound to the head before authorities found their bodies inside a bedroom of the home they shared at 918 West Maple North on Tuesday morning.
No one has been arrested in connection with the shootings.
Firefighters were called to the small, one-story house about 5:25 p.m. Sunday after a motorist drove by and saw flames coming from the back of the residence.
Deputy division chief Bob Reside, spokesman for the Springfield Fire Department, said a man was seen running from the house as firefighters arrived.
The blaze appeared to have started on the exterior of the back of the structure, where it melted the siding and burned parts of the roof, according to firefighters at the scene. The interior of the house was not damaged.
The Metro Arson squad was investigating what started the fire.
Springfield police Sgt. Dave Dyer said detectives already had processed all of the evidence inside the house, which has been vacant since the fatal shootings. Roberts ' gray Chevrolet Caprice Classic remains parked in the home's driveway.
"Somebody might have thought there was something in there they didn't want found, or a neighbor could have a problem with the house itself," Dyer said, explaining possible motives for an arsonist.
The man seen running from the house was described as wearing a light, camouflaged jacket, blue jeans and a white hat with a red bill.
West Maple North is a dead-end street northeast of MacArthur Boulevard and North Grand Avenue.
Authorities learned of the double-homicide after a man called the police station about 6:45 a.m. Tuesday to say he had information about where two bodies could be found. Officers met him, and he led them to the house.
Grieving family seeks answers / Slain cousins had no enemies, relatives say
The ties that bound Springfield cousins and best friends Santiago Roberts and Victor Chairs made the two men nearly inseparable.
When Roberts , 22, decided to get his general equivalency diploma in 2004, he persuaded 21-year-old Chairs to go, too.
If Roberts wanted to whip up something for supper, Chairs was there to eat it.
If "Santi" suggested an evening of video games, Chairs didn't wait for a second invitation.
When police entered Roberts ' house on West Maple Avenue North the morning of March 14, they found the two men together, dead in a bedroom, each with a single gunshot wound to the head.
Now, they are buried side by side at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
"Victor and Santi were not perfect. There was stuff they made bad choices about, but their hearts were genuine," Chairs' mother, Glenda Herrin, said this week.
No arrests have been made in the murders. The two men were supposed to be playing video games at the house Roberts had been renting for about a month. His girlfriend spoke to him on the phone about 12:50 a.m. March 14. She said she heard several voices in the background but nothing that sounded angry or unusual.
A neighbor heard gunshots about 1:30 a.m. but did not report the noise to police until officers began investigating the murders a full five hours later.
Police were tipped off when a man, whose connection to the case is unclear, called the police station about 6:45 a.m. to say he had information about where authorities could find two bodies. He led officers to the house on West Maple North.
Police forced their way into the house, which was locked, and found Roberts and Chairs dead.
Emotional family members gathered nearby as police strung yellow caution tape around the area. West Maple North is a short, dead-end east-west street northeast of MacArthur Boulevard and North Grand Avenue. Camp Lincoln is nearby.
Chairs and Roberts attended Southeast High School. Roberts was trained to do carpentry work. Chairs worked at Dublin Pub and Shoe Carnival. Roberts had two children. Both men had girlfriends. Chairs lived at the Olde Towne apartment complex on Bruns Lane. Roberts ' father, also named Santiago, is a well-known local jazz guitarist.
Neither man had any brothers, but less than a year separated them in age so they were like brothers to each other.
"Santi, he had hopes and dreams. Both of them did," said Roberts ' sister, Kila Alexander.
Family members said the cousins would give the shirts off their backs if someone needed it.
"You might have to ask once or twice - 'Can you please give me your shirt?' - but they were gonna give it to you eventually," Alexander joked Wednesday.
Herrin last saw Chairs and Roberts a few hours before their death. They stopped by her home for about 20 minutes to say "hi" and check on the family.
More than a week after the men were murdered, she said she appreciates the work Springfield detectives have done, but she wishes someone would tell the family what's happening with the investigation.
"It's agonizing to not know, but I have my faith in God. I just know God is going to work this out," Herrin said. "I do have faith in the detectives that are handling it. There is a concern about the unsolved (murders), but I do have faith in them."
Neither man had much in the way of a criminal record that might help point detectives in the killer's direction. Chairs had no felony arrests in Sangamon County; Roberts had three drug-related charges in 2001, but nothing since then.
Family members said the men had no enemies, did not act as if someone was after them and did not carry weapons.
"That's the problem," Alexander said. "They were cool with everybody."
Oak Ridge Cemetery
Created by: Sheilie Carroll-Altieri
Record added: Jun 04, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70851906
Added: Sep. 5, 2014
Added: Nov. 17, 2012