Flora Police Arrest Two Wanted in Recent West Virginia Homicide Investigation

December 16, 2017 Comments off

Flora Police have arrested two Parkersburg, West Virginia residents who are considered suspects in a recent West Virginia homicide investigation.

33-year-old Kenneth Leroy McCoy and 25-year-old Jessica Nicole Roberts were arrested after a check on the vehicle identification number of their car showed they and the vehicle were wanted in connection with the homicide investigation.

Police had initially tried to locate the car when receiving a complaint of two people asking for money at the Mach 1 gas station on North State Road in Flora. The two had already left upon the arrival of police. The vehicle was later found parked in the Walmart parking lot unoccupied. Flora Police conducted surveillance on the suspect vehicle until they observed a male and female approach the vehicle.

Both were taken into custody and transported to the Flora Police Department. West Virginia authorities have been notified. Both suspects are now in the Clay County Jail awaiting extradition back to West Virginia.

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Wamac Man Charged With Felony Domestic Battery After Leading Police on Manhunt

December 16, 2017 Comments off

A 27-year-old Wamac man has been charged in Clinton County Court with felony domestic battery following a manhunt involving three police agencies on Wednesday night. Bond for Joshua Benjamin was set at $20,000 during his first court appearance on Friday.

Wamac Police Chief Steve Prather says Benjamin was being sought by police for a late November domestic battery when the alleged victim called Wednesday to report she believed Benjamin was hiding in the attic of her home.

Prather believes Benjamin was able to get out of the alleged victim’s home while they were investigating. A short time later, Benjamin allegedly bailed out a window at his mother’s home on South Cherry when police went there to try and locate him.

A search of the area followed by Wamac and Centralia Police. The Marion County canine was called about a half-hour into the search and tracked the suspect from Cherry and west on 16th Street before the trail was lost at the back of the original home on Dover Street.

The search was suspended, but police gathered again a short time later when a Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy received a phone tip that Benjamin was hiding in a house on East 5th. Police surrounded the home and took Benjamin into custody without further incident.

Benjamin had the public defender appointed to represent him. He’s also expected to receive a parole hold since he just got out of prison in October.

Benjamin received a three year prison term in August of last year in Marion County Court after his probation was revoked on an aggravated battery charge. The original charge was for striking a Wamac Police officer in June of last year.

No Serious Injuries In Three Vehicle Crash on Baldridge Lane in Salem

December 16, 2017 Comments off

Salem Police say no one was hospitalized following a three vehicle crash early Friday afternoon on Baldridge Lane near the entrance to the the strip shopping center.

Police reports indicate 61-year-old Connie VanMatre of County Farm Road in Kell was northbound on Baldridge Lane when she made a left turn into the shopping center entrance and struck a southbound SUV driven by 82-year-old Robert Uchitjil of Seven Hills Road in Odin. The impact knocked the Uchitjil SUV into a car exiting the shopping center.

Paramedics were called to check out the three drivers and a passenger in the Uchitjil car, 83-year-old Nidia Uchitjil, but none required hospital treatment.

The crash occurred at 1:43 Friday afternoon.

Kinmundy Board of Alderman Moves Forward on Two Projects

December 16, 2017 Comments off

The Kinmundy Board of Alderman has hired a firm to smoke test the city’s sewer system to try and find any leakage problems into the system during heavy rains.

Tele-Scan, Inc. was awarded the $9,000 contract.

Mayor Jane Middleton says they are unsure if there are any problems. If issues are found, she reports they can begin making plans to improve the sanitary sewer system.

The board approved requesting the Illinois Commerce Commission complete repairs to the Case Street Crossing on the Union Pacific railroad tracks. The ICC will pay for 100% of the cost, but it is unclear when the work will be done.

The board passed its annual property tax levy. It will be under a 4.99-percent increase that would require a truth in taxation hearing.

The board also agreed to change its phone and internet service to Wabash Communications if they are successful in getting enough Kinmundy residents signed up to bring their service to the community.

Human remains found in Jefferson County possibly tied to missing Woodstock woman

December 15, 2017 Comments off

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Authorities have released new information into the 2010 disappearance of a 41-year-old Woodstock woman last seen in the Mt. Vernon and Centralia areas.

Beth Bentley
(Source: ISP)

On May 23, 2010, a friend reportedly dropped off Beth Bentley at an Amtrak Station in Centralia. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in Woodstock, Illinois, but did not return home and was reported missing.

Information was developed which led the ISP to a rural location in Jefferson County and on December 4, 2017, suspected human remains were recovered at the location.

Investigators are working to positively identify the remains which were badly burned. The ISP and Woodstock PD are actively investigating Bentley’s disappearance.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) and Woodstock Police Department (WPD) are seeking additional information related to the 2010 disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley is encouraged to contact the ISP at 618-542-2171 or the WPD at 815-338-2131.

This is still an open and ongoing investigation. No further information is available

Suspected Human Remains Found in Jefferson County: May Be Missing Woodstock Woman

December 15, 2017 Comments off

The Illinois State Police and Woodstock Police Department are seeking additional information related to the 2010 disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley.

On May 23, 2010, a friend reportedly dropped off Bentley at the Amtrak Station in Centralia. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in the Chicago suburb of Woodstock. Bentley did not return home and was reported missing.

Information was developed which led the ISP to a rural location in Jefferson County. On December 4, 2017, suspected human remains were recovered at the location. Investigators are working to positively identify the remains which were badly burned.

The ISP and Woodstock PD are actively investigating Bentley’s disappearance.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley is encouraged to contact the ISP at 618-542-2171 or the WPD at 815-338-2131.
This is still an open and ongoing investigation. No further information is available.

Scott Air Force Base Official Under Sexual Misconduct Probe

December 15, 2017 Comments off

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) – Scott Air Force Base officials say a commander who was ousted from his job this week is being investigated for sexual misconduct.

A news release from the Illinois base says details about the investigation of Colonel John Howard won’t be released while it’s happening “to ensure the integrity of the process.” The Air Force Office of Special Investigations will head the investigation.

Howard was relieved of command Monday by a general who said he’d lost faith in his leadership. The next day, officials announced his transfer the United States Transportation Command.

But 18th Air Force spokesman Capt. Ryan DeCamp told The (Belleville) News-Democrat Wednesday that the transfer was rescinded and Howard’s status hasn’t yet been determined.

Howard declined comment to the newspaper. Scott is located near Mascoutah.