Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Convicted child killer released from prison

ROCKFORD — A Rockford man convicted of killing a toddler has been released from prison after serving nearly 18 years behind bars.

Richard Howard, 62, was released from the Dixon Correctional Facility Sunday. He’s been in prison since 2000, when he was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 45 years for killing 22-month-old Carrie Lynn Gaines in the 1990s. Howard was dating the child’s mother at the time of the murder.

The case took several turns after Carri Lynn’s body was found on Oct. 25, 1995.  Authorities claimed she was killed five years earlier and that Howard and her mother buried the body. R.

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