STREATOR, Ill. — Police are still searching for a Streator, Ill. woman and her ex-boyfriend following an apparent abduction in Streator over the weekend, but her son, who was with her at the time, was found safe about a day later outside a Streator home.
Streator is about 100 miles southeast of Iowa in LaSalle, County.
The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that the Illinois State Police issued an endangered missing person advisory early Sunday for Kayla Stratton, 24, and initially included her 11-month-old son, Paul. An arrest warrant was issued for 33-year-old Clarence Merritte, who is wanted on numerous charges, including domestic battery and aggravated assault.
LaSalle County authorities think Merritte rear-ended Kayla Stratton’s car late Saturday night in Streator, causing it to crash into a utility pole. Based on a report from a witness at the scene, police said Merritte apparently then forced her and the child into his vehicle, which later was found abandoned several blocks from the crash scene.
Merritte is the child’s father, police said.
Streator police were notified about 10 p.m. Sunday that a friend of the mother found the baby outside her home, sheriff's police said. The baby was taken to OSF Center for Health in Streator to be checked and then released to the mother's parents.
Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of Stratton or Merritte are asked to call the LaSalle County sheriff's office at 815-433-2161.