According to a press conference led by Peru Police Chief Douglas P. Bernabei, the kidnapping victim abducted Monday morning was located safe in Peoria at about 11:00 a.m. Tuesday morning, June 15, 2021. The victim did not require hospitalization, but was “shaken up.” The victim’s age is in her 20s but she has a stature that could have been mistaken as a 14-16 year-old.
The vehicle involved in the incident was also recovered. Scores of video evidence tracked the vehicle from Peoria to Peru and back to Peoria. Video from residences and business from Peru to Peoria were immediately acquired by investigators, and the offender’s vehicle (reported yesterday as a large white SUV) was located by police in Peoria. The first video that tracked the vehicle was acquired within 20 minutes of the reported kidnapping at 4:57 a.m. Investigators went door-to-door across Peru, LaSalle, and Spring Valley, and down Route 29 along the Illinois River to Peoria to investigate video camera evidence.
A command post was immediately established at Peru City Hall.
The kidnapping is believed to be a domestic-related abduction. The victim and the person of interest had been in a previous relationship. The person of interest has been identified as 27 year-old Peoria resident Bobby A. Cross, who Peru police say is a convicted felon from a 2017 aggravated battery case. Bobby A. Cross is also wanted on a failure to appear out of LaSalle County for an aggravated battery case. Police said that he remains in flight from the police. No charges have been filed regarding the alleged kidnapping, and firearms charges may also be filed. Police confirmed that the incident was not a random child abduction and that there was no risk to the public.
Searches of the vehicle involved in the kidnapping and a residence (an apartment in Peoria) recovered two firearms — one had what appeared to be a silencer. The firearms were recovered in the apartment in Peoria.
A very alert neighbor contacted the police about 4:57 a.m. Monday, June 14, 2021. An initial report said that two males were involved in the kidnapping, but the information has not been confirmed. An initial report was that there was a 14 year-old girl and a 16 year-old girl and two males at the abduction scene near the abduction scene at Plum Street and 7th Street. The information regarding the extra two people beyond the victim and the person of interest had not been assembled as of the time of the press conference at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 15, 2021.
Police believe that Cross arrived from Peoria Monday morning to meet the victim, and the victim was in the vehicle with the Bobby A. Cross after the victim and the Cross were together at a get together in LaSalle. Then the two arrived together in Peru in the vehicle — curving around 5th Street and LaSalle-Peru Township High School to 7th Street. Somewhere the victim got out of the vehicle and there was an altercation. The victim ran south from 7th Street and Plum Street toward the Illinois Valley Community Hospital when she was abducted. Police confirmed the offender and victim had arrived in Peru in the vehicle via 7th Street from the get together in LaSalle, which is just east of Peru.
Peru Police Chief Douglas P. Bernabei credited alert citizens with helping police accomplish the progress that led to the recovery of the victim.
Yesterday police from Peru, Illinois reported that they responded about 5:05 a.m. Monday, June 14, 2021 to a report of a juvenile kidnapping near the intersection of Plum Street and 7th Street in a residential neighborhood in Peru, Illinois.
The victim was described as 14-16 year old female, but initially no information was available regarding a missing person in this case described by Peru Police Department Monday as an “Isolated Incident” (Facebook post). A pink tie-dye colored rubber sandal, “Rouge” brand, size 7.5 was found in the vicinity of the kidnapping. The information about the sandal was not initially released by police early Monday.
The offender’s vehicle was described as a white Ford Excursion or a pick-up truck with a topper. A pickup truck was the initial description, but the image captured appears to be a Ford Excursion.
Multiple witnesses reported two men forcing the victim into the vehicle with screaming or yelling occurring.
The FBI provided investigative assistance to the lead investigative agency — the Peru Police Department, which can be contacted at 815-223-2151.
On Monday, the FBI said that details regarding victim and attacker descriptions will be provided as available.
Tips can be reported to the FBI (even anonymously) at 312-421-6700 or directly to the Peru Police Department, 815-223-2151.
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