Chicago police and Illinois State police reported they have found a child missing from Mount Carmel, Illinois. Police found Tatum P. Lewis, 4, and her uncle at Stetson Avenue and South Water Street after a search by dedicated Chicago police officers and Illinois State Troopers early Monday afternoon. A Chicago police helicopter picked up a strong LoJack signal, that was associated with a stolen white Chevy conversion van, while flying overhead in the area of the Art Institute of Chicago Museum and Buckingham Fountain. Illinois State Police and Chicago Police were called to help search the area for a white 1998 Chevy conversion van. With excellent cooperation of law enforcement officers, the vehicle was located first at Stetson and Lake Street. A surveillance team was immediately setup to watch the vehicle. Minutes later police announced that both the suspect and the child had been found at Stetson and South Water Street, about one block north of the location of the parked van. Both suspect and victim were reported in custody just before 2:00 p.m. Monday.
The suspect is an uncle, John T. Mallory, 47, described as being a black male, approximately 6’2″ 240 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes. He has a scar on the forehead and scar on his left hand. He reportedly took the child without the permission of the girl’s parents.
The victim, almost 5-years-old, is Taytum P. Lewis, whose birthday is Aug. 2, 2006, and who is described as a light-skinned black female, approximately 3’2″ 50 lbs. She was believed to have been taken to the Chicago area by her uncle John T. Mallory. She was found apparently in good health. Chicago Fire Department paramedics gave her an initial checkup near the location where she was found.
Police were on the lookout for the suspect and juvenile, who were last seen in a 1998 white Chevy Conversion Van with Illinois license plate L88 0527. The vehicle is reported to be owned by the mother of the missing child and was reported stolen, along with the abduction. State police possibly had a LoJack signal for the van last night, but were unable to get closer to the signal.
Any citizen with information about the case of Taytum P. Lewis and John T. Mallory or who had seen the 1998 white Chevy Conversion Van had been urged to contact Chief Jeff Besing at the Mt. Carmel Police Department at (618) 262-4114 or call 9-1-1.
Mallory was being held at the Chicago Police Department-First District on charges of kidnapping and unlawful possession of a converted vehicle. An arrest warrant was obtained through the cooperation of Wabash County State’s Attorney Cassandra Goldman and Wabash County 2nd Judicial Circuit Court Judge Stephen G. Sawyer. Mallory is expected to be extradited to Mount Carmel.
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Mount Carmel (pop. 7,982) is located in southeastern Illinois near the Indiana border.