TWO YEARS ON RUN ENDS FOR
Saturday, October 24, 2009 — A 31-year-old personal trainer who was one of the most wanted fugitives in downstate Illinois has been captured by the Cook County Sheriff's Department's fugitive unit, Sheriff Tom Dart announced.
Kenji L. Haley has been on the run since 2007, when he was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a child under the age of 10. He is charged with committing 10 acts of molestation on one victim, while another investigation is underway into a possible second victim, both in Urbana.
Investigators suspect he has been molesting children for years, targeting single mothers who have young kids. Haley would stay with the women long enough to earn their trust and eventually be left alone with the children or staying overnight in the same house with them. He would molest them, then threaten the children that their mother would never believe them or that she would think the child was simply trying to break the couple up. He would also present gifts to those molested as an additional way to earn their silence, investigators said.
Three weeks ago, officers learned that Haley was living in Cook County and seeing as many as 10 women with young children. Members of the sheriff's fugitive warrants division, in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal's fugitive task force, began searching for Haley at known addresses where he was staying. Thursday, they questioned a single mother in Hazel Crest, but she said he had just left her home. Later that day, the officers found Haley at a house in the 8700 block of South Kingston in Chicago, where he was staying with another single mother. He was taken into custody without incident.
Some parents who live near those addresses visited by Haley told officers they knew him and that he had made inappropriate comments to young females in the neighborhood.
Sheriff's officers have now opened an investigation into Haley for potential victims in Cook County, while he has been taken into custody by Champaign County authorities.
"Anyone who knows him can feel safe knowing he is custody," Dart said. "We hope there are no other victims, but if there are, we certainly hope they feel strong enough to come forward to someone they trust and tell what happened."
Since the original warrant was issued for his arrest, Haley has had additional warrants issued for his arrest. He is wanted in Vermillion County for unlawful use of a credit card and he is wanted in Champaign County for failure to pay more than $25,000 in child support.