crime scene
crime sceneAFP file

Five people were found dead on Wednesday in their home in the small town of Manchester, Illinois.

Suspected gunman Rick Odell Smith, 43, shot and killed a great-grandmother, a young couple and three young children. Then, in a move that puzzled authoritied, took a 6-year-old girl, who was still alive, and carried her to a neighbor's home, The Chicago Tribune reported.

The girl is currently being treated at an area hospital, Lieutenant Colonel Todd Kilby told reporters.

State police would not comment on a possible motive, but a neighbor said Smith had been going through a custody battle with Sinclair's daughter over their 4-year-old child.

Neither she nor the girl were in the home at the time of the shooting, according to reports.

"There's no reason to believe there's any danger to the public or any other suspects," Kilby said, according to AFP.

"At this point we are not discussing motives or relationships."

The bodies were discovered at about 4:30 am in the small town of Manchester. Witnesses saw a white car speeding away and police tracked it down around 7:15 am.

"Shots were exchanged and the police took the suspect into custody while he was in possession of multiple weapons at 7:27 am," Kilby said.

"The suspect was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead."

The slain family members were identified by relatives as: Joanne Sinclair, 65, her granddaughter Brittany Luark, 22, her boyfriend Roy Ralston, Nolan Ralston, 5, and Bradley Ralston, 1, according to the Chicago Tribune.