A manhunt in LaSalle County, Illinois has been called off with a suspect in custody. Law enforcement spent Tuesday night beating the bushes around the small village of Sheridan looking for the suspected killer after two bodies were discovered under frightening circumstances.
Manhunt ends with arrest
Donald Fredres, age 37, a resident of Sandwich, will be off the streets for a while. He surrendered around daybreak Wednesday morning as police were closing in around him.
He prompted a nightlong manhunt by terrorizing his ex-wife and murdering her parents, not necessarily in that order. Local citizens have been advised that the threat is over and they can safely come out of their homes.
Everyone in the area was advised to remain inside Tuesday night after police were alerted to the bizarre chain of events by a 911 call. LaSalle County Sheriff Tom Templeton explains what happened.
An unnamed woman in the village of Sheridan dialed emergency at 9:49 p.m. She told the operator, “her ex-husband was banging on her front door trying to get inside,” and also that “he had shot out her windows.” They sent officers. By the time they got there, he was gone and the manhunt began.
While deputies combed the neighborhood for any traces of Fredres, the woman tried to call her parents, who lived nearby, about 3-4 miles away.
When she couldn’t get an answer she got really nervous and asked a neighbor to check. What the neighbor found was horrifying. With the new information, the manhunt took on considerably more urgency.
Each shot once
The neighbor was shocked to report “seeing the woman’s mother bleeding on the floor.” When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered Gregory Barnes Sr. and Brenda Barnes, both 62, and both deceased.
According to the County Coroner, Richard Ploch, “it appeared that each had been shot once.” Detectives conducting the manhunt were on extra-alert, knowing that the suspect had already killed.
Around sunrise, Donald Fredres was “spotted in a field not far from where the shootings occurred.” Authorities report that he was “taken into custody shortly before 7 a.m. Wednesday.”
Because it appeared that he acted alone the Sheriff issued the all clear, noting the manhunt was over and it was now “safe for residents in and around the village of Sheridan to return to normal activities”
According to LaSalle County State’s Attorney Todd Martin, the subject of the manhunt won’t be officially charged until “after detectives complete their interview.”
This appears to be one of those cases which will have a handful of psychiatric experts weighing in on whether it’s more appropriate to lock him in a cell or a hospital but either way, if he had obtained the mental health care he required sooner, his ex-wife would still have her parents.