Johnson County residents became well aware of an incident that occurred at Ferne Clyffe State Park nearly 20 hours before Illinois State Police would confirm that an ongoing investigation was underway.
It was believed that an armed man was responsible for the abduction of a woman at gunpoint and was on the loose in the Goreville area.
However, after further investigation, the Illinois State Police, working in conjunction with the Johnson County State’s Attorney, reported late Tuesday evening that it is believed that the complaint received by law enforcement Monday night contained erroneous information.
The State’s Attorney confirmed that troopers now believe that there is no credible evidence of an armed man being involved in the alleged assault on the victim, saying that the matter is still under investigation.
Illinois State Police Trooper Joey Watson confirmed earlier Tuesday evening that police were searching in Johnson County for a white man in his 30’s with an acne-scarred complexion and brown hair. Watson would not confirm the speculation circulating throughout the county and on social media of what happened in the park due to the ongoing investigation that would later reveal the initial report to be false.
Residents of Johnson County became aware of the incident Monday night as calls for emergency personnel went out over police scanners followed by State Troopers and local law enforcement converging on the park. By 8 p.m. Monday night an ISP trooper was stationed at the entrance of the park collecting license plate information and watching for suspicious activity with troopers stopping in at Goreville area businesses cautioning employees of the wanted man.