Greiving Mom Says Daughter, 15, Was Beaten to Death With a Bat by Spree Killer While Saving Kid Sister's Life

jenna newcomb christian soto
jenna Newcomb (left) was allegedly killed by Christian Soto (right).Facebook, WCSO

The beating did not stop until the suspect announced he was going upstairs to get a gun, said authorities. The sisters' friend then called the police and then ran outside to get help as Jenna Newcomb and her sister were unable to move.

The youngest victim of the alleged Illinois spree killer died while saving the life of her sister and a friend, according to her heartbroken mother.

Jenna Newcomb, 15, was home with her kid sister and a friend watching a movie on Wednesday afternoon when a man police are now identifying as Christian Soto allegedly broke into the residence.

Within minutes, the suspect managed to find Newcomb's softball bat and started beating the girls with it, Winnebago County Prosecutor J. Hanley said at a news conference on Thursday. 

"The suspect called them b****** and asked where the gun was." Hanley said. "The girls ran to the corner of the bedroom. He started swinging the bat, striking all the female victims."

The beating did not stop until the suspect announced he was going upstairs to get a gun, Hanley said. It was then that the friend called police and then ran outside to get help as Newcomb and her sister were unable to move, the prosecutor said.

This senseless murder happened during spring break, one of the few periods during the school year when students are home on the weekdays.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said the three girls had a sleepover the night before, becoming emotional and fighting back tears while he spoke with reporters.

"It's spring break, girls watching a movie. I can't even comprehend that," McNamara said.

Authorities responded to the scene to find Newcomb deceased and her sister with an arm fracture. The girls all suffered bruises and lacerations as well, said authorities.

Newcomb is one of four Rockford residents who lost their lives on Wednesday in a midday murder spree.

The first two victims were Ramona Schupbach, 63, and her son, 23-year-old Jacob Schupbach.

Soto and Jacob Schupbach had been friends since childhood, Hanley said. 

Eyewitnesses allegedly saw Soto stabbing Jacob and chasing him outside, then running him over with his truck, prosecutors allege in a statement of facts.

Jacob then ran inside and Soto allegedly followed, before emerging alone a few minutes later, prosecutors said.

Soto then encountered mailman Jay Larson and allegedly stabbed and hit the man before running him over with his truck twice, Hanley said. 

A short time later, Soto allegedly broke into the home where the three girls were watching a movie in the basement.

"Jenna's mom wants the community to know that Jenna died saving her sister and a friend, and protecting them from further harm," McNamara said on Thursday.

Newcomb would have turned 16 on Monday.

Police arrested Soto while he was allegedly stabbing his final victim on Wednesday. He is now charged with four counts of first-degree murder and seven counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Hanley said that Soto allegedly confessed to the killings while being questioned on Wednesday.

"Soto said that he believes the drugs provided to him by Jacob were 'laced' with an unknown narcotic," Hanley said on Thursday.

Hanley added that Soto allegedly told investigators that he "became paranoid after the drug usage," grabbed a knife, and stabbed his first victim.

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