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Authorities search for man

Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 1:19 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 9:40 p.m. CDT
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
Princeton Police Chief Tom Root (center in police vest) meets with other local enforcement agencies at noon Monday as they prepare to search a nearby wooded area for a potentially suicidal Princeton man. About 25 emergency personnel from various agencies and departments were on hand to assist in the search.

PRINCETON — Princeton Police and other authorities searched Monday for a Princeton man who was potentially suicidal, threatening to kill himself or any police officer who might try to find him.

At noon on Monday, Princeton Police Chief Tom Root said the incident started a couple hours earlier Monday as a domestic situation with the man's wife. The wife allegedly feared for her life, the police chief said.

According to Root, the man supposedly took a shotgun and left the home in his vehicle. The vehicle was found later that morning at Elm Lawn Cemetery. Because of the location of the vehicle, the nearby Jefferson Elementary School was on lockdown until authorities learned the man had gotten a ride to the City-County Park area on the north edge of Princeton.

Root said the man was believed to be in the wooded area just west of Route 26 and the City-County Park. The man knows the wooded area very well, the police chief said.

The area includes a hunting cabin in the area, as well as one home, Root said. Contact was made through the answering service to the home. The home and hunting cabin will be the first places searched. The entire wooded area will be swept to find the man, the police chief said.

Among the emergency units responding to the scene with the Princeton Police Department were a Special Response Team, the Bureau County Sheriff's Department, and the Princeton Fire and Ambulance Department.

At that time, Route 26 was not closed to traffic, but the public was encouraged to stay away from the Route 26/Red Covered Bridge area, Root said. If anyone does spot the man, they should stay away from him and contact authorities, the police chief said.

At 3 p.m., Root said the search continued for the missing Princeton man. The Illinois State Police conducted an aerial search. The search area was expanded west of the wooded area because of a possible sighting of the man west of the original search site.

Root said the search was expected to continue until dark.

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