Investigation Continues into Illinois Cornfield Deaths

July 28, 2011

Whiteside County Sheriff’s Lt. Andy Henson says deputies are trying to determine how two 14-year-olds were electrocuted detasseling corn in northwestern Illinois.

Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall, both of Sterling, were killed Monday when they came into contact with a field irrigator while working near Tampico.

Two other detasselers also were shocked. Fourteen-year-old Delanie Knapp was in serious condition Tuesday at a Rockford hospital. Her sister, 15-year-old Bailey Knapp, was treated at CGH Medical Center in Sterling and released

Six others received a less-severe jolt.

Henson said Tuesday the department is meeting with officials from Monsanto Corp., which employed the 72 detasselers in the field Monday, and with Commonwealth Edison, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Illinois Department of Labor.

Henson says deputies continue to question witnesses.

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