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Funeral service set for victim in murder-suicide

STERLING – Funeral services are set for the 24-year-old mother shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, who then turned the gun on himself.

Brittney L. Long died Sunday of a single gunshot to the head. Duane J. Briggs, 24, of Freeport, who stated on his Facebook page on Oct. 31 that he was hoping to get full custody of his infant son "in the next few months," then killed himself with a shot to the head.

The baby was not at Long's home at 813 First Ave. at the time, Detective Sgt. Todd Messer said Tuesday.

Autopsies were conducted Tuesday; results will not be available for several weeks.

Long, originally from Polo, was a CNA at Regency Care of Sterling.

Among others, she is survived by her son, Levi McBride of Sterling; her father, Brad Long of Polo; her mother, Barbara Helton of Dixon; and siblings April and Steven McBride, both of Dixon, and Amanda Carroll of Grand Detour.

Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday and from 9:30 until the funeral at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Polo.

McDonald Funeral Homes is handling arrangements; go to to post condolences.

The bodies of Long and Briggs, who is from Oregon and has lived in Mount Morris, were found around 6:40 p.m. Sunday by police who were called to the rental home to conduct a welfare check. Long's family members requested the check when she failed to attend a family event or answer their calls.

Court records show Briggs had history of convictions in Stephenson and Ogle counties for aggravated battery to a police officer and two counts of resisting arrest, stemming from an arrest on July 12, 2018.

He was sentenced in January to 4 year's probation; five misdemeanor charges of domestic battery, interfering with the reporting of a domestic battery, resisting, and possession a firearm and ammunition without a FOID card were dismissed.

Long also had a conviction for disorderly conduct from the same incident.

On Aug. 1, 2018, Long was granted an order of protection against Briggs in Stephenson County that was vacated Aug. 21 at her request.

On Oct. 11, Briggs was sentenced in Stephenson County to 2 years of court supervision for felony DUI.

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