PERU, Ill. (WMBD) — Authorities have found a woman kidnapped in Peru Monday morning, and now believe the suspect is on the run.
At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Peru Chief of Police Douglas P. Bernabei established the abducted woman, who has not been identified, was in her 20s, and not a teenager as initially reported.
At about 11 a.m. Tuesday, just one day after the original abduction, the department was positive they knew where she was. Later that day she was found safe in her apartment in Peoria.
“It has been a round the clock investigation since 4:57 a.m. yesterday,” Bernabei said.
The perpetrator has been identified as Bobby A. Cross, 27, of Peoria, and is currently on the run. Cross has a 2017 felony for aggravated battery, and a related warrant is out for his arrest due to failure to appear.
“No matter what it takes, we’re going to find Mr. Cross,” he said.
Bernabei said Cross and the victim previously had a relationship and formerly lived together. There is currently no warrant for the “domestic-related abduction.” Once found, Cross would be arrested for his warrant related to the 2017 arrest, Bernabei said.
“We don’t know what charges he is going to face for this,” the chief said, adding the case will go to the state’s attorney’s office.
Tammy Semek, who lives a few feet away from where the incident took place, said incidents like this are unusual for the area.
“It was really scary because that’s why we live here, things like that don’t happen here,” Semek said.
She said waking up to the news of an abduction near her home was even more terrifying considering she has two teenage daughters.
“It was very scary because I have a daughter who runs and walks early in the morning,” Semek said. “She’ll get up at four in the morning, five in the morning and go run or go for a walk and I never thought twice about it.”
Semek said she has peace of mind knowing how fast the police were able to act, creating a special task force, and locate the woman.
Find the full press conference below:
Cross knows he is wanted and is trying to evade the police, Bernabei said.
The incident began in LaSalle with people visiting a home. Police believe Cross drove up from Peoria to find the victim. It was originally reported there were two men in the truck when she was abducted. The chief said they were still working to establish if that was factual.
Later in Peoria, police located a vehicle and an apartment of interest. Inside the home, the victim was located uninjured. Two firearms were also found.
The department is working to see if gun charges will apply. Bernabei said he does not know if Cross is currently armed.
The FBI is assisting the Peru Police Department in this case.
Tips can be reported to the FBI (even anonymously) at 312-421-6700 or directly to Peru Police Department at (815) 223-2151.