BRADLEY, IL – Police in Illinois are warning that criminals are creating GoFundMe accounts allegedly to raise money in the name of a fallen police sergeant that was killed in the line of duty the last week of December.
In a statement on Facebook, Bradley police said: “There have been several Go Fund Me fundraisers posted by supposed family members of Sgt Marlene Rittmanic. NONE of these are legit. https://t.co/fMbCyxYvr1
— FOX 32 News (@fox32news) January 3, 2022
Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic was shot and killed. Another officer, Tyler Bailey, was shot and listed in critical condition. It happened after the two responded to a barking dog complaint.
Now it appears that criminals are trying to seize on the moment and steal money from unsuspecting people who are trying to donate funds to her family.
“There have been several Go Fund Me fundraisers posted by supposed family members of Sgt Marlene Rittmanic. NONE of these are legit and the family will NOT be creating any fundraising pages through Go Fund Me.
If you see a fundraising page for Sgt Marlene Rittmanic you can report it to them as fraudulent and if you’ve donated to one, please seek a refund.
“There is ONE fundraiser page that has been created by the family of Officer Tyler Bailey…
“We are not soliciting donations on behalf of the family but if you are looking to contribute we would like to identify the ONLY legitimate page that’s been set up.
“We thank you for the amount of support we’ve received from the community, and we ask you to continue to keep Sgt Rittmanic and Officer Bailey along with their families in your thoughts and prayers.”
On December 29th, both Sgt. Rittmanic and Ofc. Bailey responded to a Comfort Inn on North State Route 50 for a report of a dog barking in an unoccupied vehicle.
When they arrived on scene, they met with hotel management which pointed out the room where the owners of the vehicle were staying.
While Sgt. Rittmanic and Ofc. Bailey were speaking to the couple, Darius Sullivan and Xandria Harris, the duo attacked.
During the attack, Sullivan allegedly opened fire on both officers, killing Sgt. Rittmanic and critically wounding Ofc. Bailey.
— CBS Chicago (@cbschicago) January 4, 2022
After police allegedly identified the two people involved, a multi-state manhunt ensued which initially led them to a home in North Manchester, Indiana on December 31st.
Police executed a search warrant at that residence and were able to take Sullivan into custody without incident.
Sullivan was charged with the murder and attempted murder of a police officer.
Police reported that a 19-year-old man, Daniel Acros, was also arrested in the home, though it is unclear if he was arrested for aiding Sullivan or for the drugs that were allegedly found in the home.
Indiana State Police Sergeant Glen Fifield, who aided in the capture of Sullivan, said:
“[While searching the home for Sullivan, officers discovered] several weapons and narcotics.”
During Sullivan’s capture, police in Illinois worked to track down Harris who turned herself into the Bradley Police Department around 4 pm on the 31st. Harris was taken into custody for her alleged involvement in the case.
Indiana State Police reported that they took two additional people into custody for alleged involvement in the case.
Bryce Baker and Joshua Adams were arrested and will face extradition to Illinois. Police officials have not released any information as to how the two may be involved.
— #JusticeForJelaniDay (@whatuplakerss) September 24, 2021
Brenden Kelly, the Illinois State Police Director, noted the arrests:
“In a multi-jurisdictional effort, two alleged cop killers have been taken into custody today and will now face justice.
The Law Enforcement family and the community lost a devoted officer, and another continues to fight for his life. The ISP will continue to offer our prayers and support to the Bradley Police Department during this difficult time.”
When we published that story on December 30th, both suspects in her shooting death were still at large.
Police say 49-year-old Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic and Officer Tyler Bailey were both shot while responding to a noise complaint at a local hotel. Rittmanic, a 14-year veteran of the Bradley Police Department, died of her wounds.
She had also served for 7 years with Iroquois County Sheriff’s Office.
Bailey, 27, is still hospitalized in critical condition.
A manhunt ensued to bring the suspects into custody.
Darius Sullivan, 25, surrendered to SWAT officers and US Marshals enacting a search warrant for a property in North Manchester, IN, roughly 125 miles from Bradley. He is currently awaiting extradition from Indiana to Kankakee County, IL.
Two men were arrested at the residence. Narcotics and weapons were found in the home. Along with Sullivan, authorities also apprehended Daniel Acros, 19.
26-year-old Xandria Harris surrendered at the Bradley Police Department on New Year’s Eve and was taken into custody by the Illinois State Police. She will remain held at the Jerome D. Combs Adult Detention Facility in Kankakee County.
Upon his extradition, the pair will likely appear before a judge to determine the charges pending for both and determine bail.
Harris is currently scheduled to appear on Monday.
She is a person of interest in the case as police have been able to place her at the hotel with Sullivan when the shootings occurred.
Harris’s attorney, Phil Haddad spoke with ABC7. While he did not discuss her alleged involvement in the shootings, he said:
“Charges have been filed. She maintains her innocence. She is a mother of three and she is pregnant.”
He added that she voluntarily turned herself in.
This case is still being investigated. Law Enforcement Today will continue to monitor all developments and provide any updates that become available.
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