RIVERSIDE, Calif. (NEXSTAR/AP) — A convicted serial killer whose victims included two young boys died Sunday at a hospital in Indiana, authorities said.
Joseph Edward Duncan, 58, who was on federal death row, had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
He was sentenced to death in 2008 following his conviction for the killing of 9-year-old Dylan Groene and three others in Idaho.
On May 16, 2005, Duncan murdered Dylan’s mother, her boyfriend, and the boy’s 13-year-old brother at their Idaho home before kidnapping Dylan and his 8-year-old sister, according to release.
Duncan tortured both children and killed Dylan. The boy’s sister was found on July 3, 2005, in an Idaho restaurant, and Duncan was arrested, the release said.
“This crime was horrendous and its impact on the families, the community, the jurors, court staff, our litigation team, and law enforcement were far reaching,” Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael M. Gonzalez, Jr. said in the release. “While his death will not bring back the lives cut so tragically short or remove the indelible memories of his unspeakable acts, perhaps death will now allow space for some degree of healing, peace, and closure.”
Following that conviction, Duncan was extradited to Southern California to be tried for the death of 10-year-old Anthony Martinez, of Riverside County, in 1997.
According to a separate release Sunday, Anthony was playing in a neighbor’s yard in Beaumont, California, with his younger brother and some friends on April 4, 1997, when Duncan kidnapped him. Duncan first tried to take Anthony’s brother, but he was able to get away. As Anthony tried to help his brother, Duncan grabbed him instead.
Duncan pleaded guilty and received a sentence of life in prison.
Anthony’s mother, Diana, said in the release Sunday that “the sun is brighter today, and my soul is lighter” after Duncan’s death.
She added, “The world is a more beautiful place without the evil that is Joseph Duncan. God chose to make his end a long suffering and I believe that is fitting. The horror of his thoughts consumed him.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.