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Archive for March 27th, 2016

Mesarchik murder unsolved after 13 years

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2016

Believe it or not, it’s now been thirteen years since 7-year old Dalton Mesarchik of Streator was found dead.

On March 26, 2003, Mesarchik was reported missing from the front yard of his home. The next day, Mesarchik’s body was found in the Vermilion River south of Streator.

Investigators recovered a hammer they think was used in his murder but despite the evidence and thousands of leads, no one has been arrested in the case.

A State Police Task Force is still in place and investigating the Mesarchik murder. A $50,000 reward is being offered if you provide information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

For more information on the Mesarchik investigation, click Mesarchik Anniversary

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“Operation Sauter” commences Monday

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2016

For this the third year, Illinois State Police is remembering one of their own killed in the line of duty. ISP will launch “Operation Sauter” Monday focusing for 24 hours on commercial motor vehicle enforcement. Special attention will also be given to speeding, seatbelts, DUI and distracted driving.

Trooper James Sauter was killed March 28, 2013 when his squad car was struck by a truck tractor semi-trailer on I-294. In the last 3 years, the ISP says commercial motor vehicles were responsible for the deaths of 2 troopers and seriously injuring a third one.

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Missing Indiana woman found after 40 years

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2016

An Indiana woman missing for more than 40 years was found living in south Texas under a different name. Lula Ann Gillespie-Miller, then 28 years old, left her Laurel, Indiana home in 1974 after giving birth to her third child. Indiana State Police said Lula Ann felt incapable of caring for her 3 children and gave her parents custody. The next year was the last time they heard from her – receiving a letter postmarked Richmond, Indiana.

It was a State Police cold-case detective who started searching for Lula Ann in 2014. There were 2 possibilities:  –  a deceased unidentified female found in 1975 or a woman living in a small Texas town who had lived previously in Tennessee. Texas Rangers went to this woman’s home and she admitted to them she was Lula Gillespie-Miller, now 69 years old and formerly from Laurel, Indiana.

Gillespie-Miller will not be charged. Through an exchange of information via the police, Gillespie-Miller will talk with at least one of her daughters this holiday weekend.

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April is Child Abuse/Prevention Month

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2016

Could April be the most important month when it comes to a child? The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services continues to educate the public about child abuse and especially in April – Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.

DCFS estimates thousands of cases of neglect or abuse go unreported each year. Their advice: If you see something – say something. Abuse affects a child emotionally, psychologically and physically. Such children, DCFS says, are likely to be self-destructive or aggressive, abuse alcohol or drugs and become young offenders. The abuse and neglect hotline is: 1-800-25- ABUSE.

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“Legions against Lesions” dinner Saturday

Posted by wlpo on March 27, 2016

Multiple Sclerosis is in the crosshairs of the Illinois Valley Legion against Lesions. Organizers are inviting you to dinner and music this Saturday at the LaSalle Knights of Columbus. The buffet dinner is from 4 – 7 with music by the James Sprong. Buda Birk and Tim Ajster bands. Silent auctions, raffles and door prizes round out the evening. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Those 10 and under get in free.

Tickets are on sale at “Big Boys Tires or the LaSalle Knights of Columbus. Proceeds go to helping those affected by Multiple Sclerosis in our area.

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