Searchers drag Des Plaines River for body of slain Joliet woman
By Brian Stanley firstname.lastname@example.org April 1, 2013 2:46PM
Jeanie Parker (supplied photo)
Updated: May 3, 2013 6:18AM
JOLIET — Firefighters started dragging the Des Plaines River on Monday to find the body of a woman allegedly murdered by her son last month.
Early on March 21, Jeanie Parker, 54, and Charles “C.J.” McCullum, 21, had been arguing in their Fifth Avenue home before Parker missed a meeting with a neighbor that morning, police said.
Officers were asked to check on Parker and found signs of a bloody struggle throughout the residence. McCullum was arrested and allegedly admitted choking and stabbing Parker “repeatedly” before throwing her body in the river at Bluff Park south of Jefferson Street.
Firefighters have used small boats equipped with sonar to search every day since then, Police Cmdr. Brian Benton said. Helicopters also helped in the search last weekend and divers have gone in the murky water if the sonar showed anything that could be a body.
Benton said firefighters have conducted two boat searches lasting from 1 to 3 hours every day. Most of those have concentrated from Jefferson Street downstream to the railroad bridge where cadaver-sniffing dogs “alerted” March 25.
After police and fire officials met Monday morning, searchers began dragging the river.
“They’ll drop lengths of cable with hooks as they go along and whenever there’s resistance they’ll pull it up to investigate,” Benton said.
Drag searches are expected to continue for at least several days if the body is not found.
Bridgetenders and operators at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam also are watching as barges pass through, Benton said.