Sheriff: Two met online; cellphone, other tech led to arrest
SPRING VALLEY — A 26-year-old Standard man who investigators say stabbed a 16-year-old Spring Valley girl he met online is being held on $1 million bond, charged with concealing her death, the Putnam County sheriff said Tuesday morning.
More charges will be filed against Richard A. Henderson once the investigation progresses, Sheriff Kevin Doyle said during a news conference at Spring Valley Police Department.
Diamond Bradley last was seen by her family the evening of Jan. 23 and was reported missing the following morning. Her body was found Jan. 27 alongside 850th North Road in Putnam County, stabbed multiple times.
Investigators think Henderson picked the teen up near her home between 6:30 and 7:30 a.m. Jan. 24, drove to the spot where her body was found, and killed her after an altercation, Doyle said.
The exact nature of their relationship and Henderson’s past still are being investigated, Spring Valley Police Chief Kevin Sangston said at the news conference.
The two met online, Doyle said; he did not specify a website.
Henderson was arrested Monday after being interviewed at the police station. Tips, interviews, surveillance cameras and pings from Diamond’s cellphone link him to her death, Doyle said.
His initial appearance is Feb. 15; a public defender has been appointed.
Officials are waiting for several reports to be completed and there is still a lot of work to do to obtain a conviction, but investigators are confident they’ve arrested the man responsible, Doyle said.
He credited the arrest to the investigation’s “slow methodical process and damn good police work,” citing the tireless efforts of the officers involved and the personal sacrifices they made in the effort to find the guilty party.
“We’d like to remind everyone that this investigation is still ongoing and we continue to track down additional information. At this time, we’re being very cautious as to the extent of details we release so as to not jeopardize the successful prosecution of this case,” he said.
“Her family has been notified and they’re appreciative. Justice for Diamond is our long-term goal,” Sangston said.
The following law enforcement agencies contributed to the investigation: Putnam, Bureau, LaSalle, Peoria and Cook Counties Sheriff’s Offices; the Spring Valley, LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby, Ottawa, Streator, Peoria and Chicago Police Departments; the Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Services; Tri-DENT; and the Putnam, Bureau and LaSalle Counties State’s Attorney’s Offices.