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  • Parent Category: News

Streator mom still missing

The search for 24-year-old Kayla Stratton of Streator continues. LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton said investigators continue to follow leads and tips received since her Friday abduction.

Police believe she was abducted by Clarence "Satch" Merritte, the father of the Stratton's 11-month-old child, Paul.

The child was also missing until Saturday, when he was discovered on the porch of family friends.

The abduction and subsequent manhunt began at around 11 pm Friday. Police report Merritte rammed his vehicle into Stratton's.

Merritte, an alleged gang member, forced Stratton from her vehicle against her will, coerced her into his car, then fled.

An arrest warrant for Merritte charges him with unlawful restraint, driving on a revoked license, domestic battery and aggravated assault.

Merritte is also wanted for parole violation.

The DCFS is also involved.

Sheriff Templeton advises "any information in regards to the whereabouts of Kayla Stratton ... or Clarence Merritte should be directed to the LaSalle County Sheriff's office at 815-433-2161."

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Press conference planned Wednesday on Delphi murder investigation

A 10 am press conference (Wednesday) in Delphi (IN) is expected to reveal new information in the ongoing investigation of a double homicide involving two teenage girls.

Law enforcement will provide information about the murders of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Kim Riley says a man in a blue jacket, who appears in police-released photos, is a “main suspect” in the investigation. A search for the man has expanded beyond Delphi. Police believe the suspect may have been picked up as a hitchhiker.

If you can identify the man in this photo or provide any information regarding the case, please call the Delphi Murder Tip Line at 844-459-5786. You can stay anonymous.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Hoopeston drug trafficker gets life sentence

A Hoopeston man was ordered to spend the rest of his life in federal prison for trafficking crystal meth and cocaine. in Champaign.

37-year-old Jose Jaime “JJ” Lopez was sentenced to a five-year term for violating federal supervised release. That’ll be served concurrently with the life term.

U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce handed down the life sentence.

In November of last year, a jury convicted Lopez of distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine and attempted possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
During Lopez’ three-day trial, evidence was presented to show Lopez arranged to obtain about 10 ounces of crystal meth, also known as “ice,” with a Mexican drug cartel in Houston. Drug Enforcement Administration agents intercepted phone calls between Lopez and the cartel member.

On October 3, 2014, DEA agents and Champaign police seized 272.5 grams of nearly 100 percent pure crystal methamphetamine from a drug courier in Rantoul. The courier was transporting the crystal meth to Lopez in Hoopeston, so that Lopez could distribute it in central Illinois.

Agents also used a confidential informant to purchase two ounces of powder cocaine, 18 grams of ice and 30 grams of ice, respectively, from Lopez in Champaign.

Agents executed a search warrant at Lopez’ Hoopeston residence and found numerous items associated with drug trafficking.

Court records also show Lopez was on federal supervised release for a 2002 federal drug trafficking conviction.
Lopez also has a prior felony drug conviction in Texas and two convictions in Vermilion County for aggravated battery of a police officer and driving under the influence of alcohol.

{courtesy: Dept of Justice}

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Brush fire alerts emergency efforts in Pembroke Township

Several dozen fire departments from Kankakee, Iroquois, Will and Newton County, Indiana battled field fires Monday in Pembroke Township.  Volunteers were busy much of the day in eastern Kankakee County where dry fields sparked the fires in several locations.  No injuries were reported.

94.1 WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Lottinville family named Iroquois County Conservation Farm Family-of-Year

The Kyle Lottinville family of Sheldon was recognized as the 2016 Farm Conservation Family award winner by the Iroquois County Soil & Water Conservation District.

The honor came Monday night at the SWCD annual award banquet. Kyle, his wife, Sue, and daughter Krista were on hand for the recognition.

The Lottinville family farms ground in Sheldon, Concord and Stockland townships.

Kyle is a third-generation farmer. Over the years, the Lottinville best management practices have included conservation tillage, no-till practices, and the installation and maintenance of various conservation practices.

94.1 WGFA