A missing Streator woman whose disappearance sparked a manhunt for a parolee from Chicago has been located and she is safe, authorities said.
A spokeswoman for the LaSalle County sheriff's office confirmed Kayla Statton is safe. Check back for details.
Earlier, authorities said Clarence Merritte was a suspect in her disappearance, according to the LaSalle County state’s attorney’s office. Merritt, who is “armed and dangerous,’’ is suspected in the disappearance of Kayla Stratton, of Streator, who is in "extreme danger,’’ the statement said.
Multiple additional agencies were involved in the search, including the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, the LaSalle and Cook county sheriff's departments and the Streator police department.
Additionally, the FBI was offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the safe return of Kayla Stratton, according to spokesman Garrett Croon.
Merritte is currently on parole for a criminal drug conspiracy conviction, for which he was sentenced to twelve years, according to IDOC. He was taken into custody in February of 2008 and was released on parole from the LaSalle County Corrections on Feb. 27, 2014, IDOC said.
Merritte, 33, is 5-foot-4 and weighs about 170 pounds, according to IDOC. He has brown eyes and multiple tattoos which include one on his left forearm which says “get money or get nothing,'' another that reads "Jesus,'' and another of “Freddy Kruger,’’ according to IDOC.
Merritte’s prior convictions include possession and use of a weapon, hate crime, and aggravated battery, all of which he served time for beginning in 2002.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the LaSalle County sheriff's office, 815-433-2161 or the Chicago office of the FBI, 312-421-6700.
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