Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

July 6, 2013

Shooting leaves one dead

Jackson Adams Daily News
Effingham Daily News

---- — BETHANY — Two former Effingham residents were shot in their home in Bethany Thursday.

On Thursday, the Coles County Emergency Communicatrion Center received a 911 call from Michael Robertson, 66, of Bethany. The Illinois State Police, Moultrie County Sheriff’s Department and Sullivan Police Department responded to the scene and found Robertson and his wife, Denise, 51, had been shot in their bed.

Both subjects were transported to area hospitals. Michael was airlifted to a trauma center in critical condition. He has since stabilized. Denise was declared dead by the Macon County coroner’s office. Preliminary findings from an autopsy conducted Friday reveal the cause of death had been a single gunshot wound to the head.

Michael and Denise Robertson met in Effingham and Michael had been a longtime resident after moving to the area as a teenager.

Michael’s aunt, Nancy Burch, of Effingham, said the couple were well liked and loved each other.

“He’s just always been a real good boy,” she said. “He had more friends than anybody. As far as I know they were just ideal people.”

Michael had worked for Metlife Insurance in Effingham before moving to Decatur. Burch said he had left Decatur and moved to Bethany after he said he had worried about crime in the city.

“He’s got quite a bit and he was just worried about the gangs up there,” she said. “He just was wanting to get out of Decatur and so they moved out into the country and thought they would be OK. You just never know who you’re going to meet out there like that.”

Burch said Denise had been a great person whose loss will be felt profoundly by the family.

“She was a very sweet person, real sweet,” she said. “Her and Mike got along so well together. They were just as happy as they could be. I don’t know how he’s going to take it when he finds out. I just can’t imagine what they went through.”

Gary Poland, of Effingham, said he had known Michael through high school and remembers when he had been introduced to Denise.

“She was very pleasant,” he said. “They used to go camping all the time. I didn’t know her at all until Mike brought her in one time and she was just really pleasant.”

The investigation is ongoing by the Illinois State Police.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.