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Woman Found Safe In Peoria After Being Kidnapped In Peru, Illinois; Suspect Bobby A. Cross Remains At Large

PERU, Ill. (CBS) -- A young woman has been found safe in Peoria a day and a half after she was kidnapped in Peru, Illinois, police said Tuesday.

Peru police Chief Douglas Bernabei said the woman was located safe and sound and was in a secure location in Peoria, while the suspect - her ex-boyfriend - remained on the loose.

The victim had initially been reported to be a teenage girl between 14 and 16 years old, but it turned out she was a woman in her early 20s with a smaller-than-average stature, Bernabei said.

Meanwhile, the suspect in the kidnapping remained at large on Tuesday. He is believed to be from the Peoria area and has an unrelated warrant out for his arrest in LaSalle County, Bernabei said.

Bernabei said the investigation indicates that this was a domestic-related abduction. The victim and the kidnapper had dated and lived together in Peoria, Bernabei said.

The suspect, whom Bernabei identified as Bobby A. Cross, 27, of Peoria, is a convicted felon who was found guilty of aggravated battery in 2017. Cross served 79 days in jail and probation afterward, but did not pay off his fines and thus, a warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Bobby A. Cross
Bobby A. Cross (Credit: FBI)

Around 5:05 a.m. on Monday, a resident near 7th and Plum streets in Peru called 911 after reporting hearing a girl screaming for help.

Peru police said physical evidence at the scene showed the victim was taken against her will. The FBI reported multiple witnesses initially reported two men forcing the girl into the vehicle as she screamed or yelled, but Bernabei said there may have been another man besides Cross at the scene who was not involved.

The FBI described the vehicle as a white Ford pickup truck with a topper. The FBI also released an image of a pink sandal found nearby earlier Tuesday.

The vehicle has been recovered. Two firearms were also found at the Peoria home where Cross had been living – one of which had a potential silencer, Bernabei said.

Bernabei emphasized that there is no danger to the community or to children in the area.

The FBI said Cross should not be approached if he is spotted. Tips should be directed to the Peru Police Department at (815) 223-2151.

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