DJ FILE - Courts

BOURBONNAIS — A firestorm of comments on social media led Bourbonnais police to release a post Wednesday on Facebook about the suspicious activities a man directed toward a woman in late June or early July.

The comments didn’t pertain to the department’s investigation but rather to claims of strangers in the area possibly being approached for human trafficking purposes in recent months.

Bourbonnais police posted about their investigation on Facebook Wednesday because they read “multiple social media posts indicating a possible human trafficking suspect in the area of Kroger.”

On one site, a screenshot of the person of interest from his Snapchat account was posted on a comment thread.

Another woman commented about a man and woman who harassed her while shopping at Walmart, as well as Bed, Bath and Beyond. Yet another said she was approached by a man at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

The three businesses are in Bradley.

A Bradley police official said Thursday he was unaware of any reports being made.

Bourbonnais investigators received information from a woman this week of her encounter with a man in the parking lot of Kroger and again on Mohawk Drive near the store.

According to Deputy Chief Dave Anderson, the woman said Monday a man asked her if they could meet up and exchange phone numbers.

Investigators were able to come up with a person of interest based on the license plate and vehicle description she gave them.

Since there is no credible evidence of human trafficking at this time, the department is not identifying the man.

The Daily Journal is not identifying the man since charges have not been filed.

“We want to let people know we are taking it seriously,” Anderson said. “We will be vigilante. Human trafficking, domestic abuse, sexual abuse. We take each very serious.

“People should be vigilante. Take a picture of the person, a vehicle and its license plate. Contact your local law enforcement agency.”

Anderson said the man has been in Kankakee County jail since his arrest on domestic abuse charges July 12. A judge set his bond at $150,000.

As of Thursday, he remained in custody.

Anderson said investigators remain in touch with the victim.

If you have an information, call Bourbonnais investigators at 815-937-3579 or call Crime Stoppers at 815-932-7463.

Reporter

Jeff Bonty has worked for The Daily Journal since September 1986, starting in the sports department before moving to news reporting in 2002. He's a native of Indiana and graduate of Purdue University. His email is jbonty@daily-journal.com.