Yoko Cullen: Carjackers Burned Victim Alive in Trunk of Her Vehicle


Yoko Cullen: Grandmother was still alive when carjackers torched her car.
  • Yoko Cullen: Grandmother was still alive when carjackers torched her car.
A horrific story grew infinitely more vulgar yesterday when a coroner's inquest revealed that 85-year-old Yoko Cullen was still alive this past May when carjackers in East St. Louis torched her vehicle.

As the Alton Telegraph reports, Madison County coroner's investigator Shane Liley cited findings Wednesday during an inquest that Cullen's windpipe was coated with soot, meaning she died after her car was set ablaze. Cullen was leaving a Collinsville bingo parlor on May 20 when she was carjacked and forced into the trunk. The vehicle -- with Cullen trapped inside -- was burned later that day in East St. Louis.

Police have charged three people in the carjacking-turned-murder: Daquan D. Barnes, 20, of Granite City; his cousin Demarcus D. Barnes, 29, of Belleville; and Latosha A. Cunningham, 38, of Belleville. Police say that Cunningham knew that Cullen, of Belleville, was a regular at bingo games and plotted the crime. All three suspect are in custody with bail for each set at $3 million.


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