Fugitive’s body found in Campbell residential area

The body of a man who had been wanted by federal authorities in Illinois was found in a residential neighborhood in Campbell County on Thursday.

The Campbell County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to the Cove Point community Wednesday evening after a man was reported missing by co-workers. Initially, employees of a contractor doing work on a home in the area could only tell deputies that the man’s name was “Sonny” and that it was his first day on the job. They told deputies he had walked off the job site at some point, possibly to cool off in the nearby lake, but after they searched the area and could not locate him, they called 911.

Deputies and members of the Campbell County Rescue Squad searched an area of the lake with side scan sonar but found no sign of the man in the water, and he was not located on land by searchers. Deputies and a trained cadaver K9 returned to the area Thursday morning and searched again, to no avail.

During the search, deputies were able to track down the man’s girlfriend, who identified him as Sonny Southall. While completing a missing persons report, investigators learned that Southall was wanted by federal authorities after allegedly escaping from their custody in Illinois. Records indicate Southall had a history of drug and weapons offenses.

In a press release issued Thursday, deputies say that after their search in the morning failed to turn up Southall, a resident located Southall’s body in an area the CCSO says had been “repeatedly searched the [prior] evening…and that morning.”

The release also states that : “Investigators have requested an autopsy be completed. The investigation is open and ongoing and the cause of death is unknown at this time. No foul play is suspected at this time but due to his history, it is suspected drugs may have played a factor in his death.”

We will update you as developments warrant

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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