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Lake County Cybercrime Unit Works To Protect Children

The Lake County Sheriff's Office Cybercrime Unit pursues online predators who seek to meet underage children and those who possess inappropriate images and videos of children. Follow these officers as they conduct a search warrant for a man believed to be in possession of child pornography. Persons placed under arrest are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

   Update - Third Victim Identified

On August 28, 2015, the Lake County Coroner’s Office in conjunction with the Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory confirmed the identity of the third victim of this fatal crash utilizing DNA analysis.

The back seat passenger of the Kia Optima has been positively identified as James A. Mortensen (30) of the 2200 block of High Point Drive, Lindenhurst.  James was the younger brother of Michael. 

Update - Two Positively Identified in Fatal Ingleside Crash

On August 27, 2015, the Lake County Coroner’s Office positively identified two of the three occupants who were victims of this fatal crash.  The Coroner’s Office was able to make these identifications utilizing dental records.

The driver of the Kia Optima has been positively identified as Jon R. McKinney (30)  of the 24600 block of West Lake Shore Drive, Round Lake Beach.

The front seat passenger of the Kia Optima has been positively identified as Michael S. Mortensen (33) of the 34700 block of North Gerberding Avenue, Ingleside.

The identification of the third occupant is pending DNA results.

Fatal Ingleside Crash

On August 26, 2015 at approximately 1:40AM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a traffic crash involving a car versus tree.  Preliminary investigation indicates a Kia Optima was traveling westbound on Rollins Road east of West Lake Shore Drive in Ingleside.  The Kia Optima drove off the north side of the roadway as it traveled eastbound, reasons unknown, and struck a tree. 

According to the 911 calls received, the Kia Optima became engulfed in flames after striking the tree.  Upon the fire being extinguished by Fox Lake Fire Department, Deputies were able to determine three individuals were deceased inside the vehicle. 

The identities of the deceased are not known at this time.  Additionally, the license plates affixed to the vehicle do not belong to the Kia Optima, adding to the delay in identification of the victims. 

The Lake County Sheriff’s Technical Crash Investigations Unit will remain on-scene collecting evidence and facts relating to the investigation.

As additional information becomes available, it will be forwarded via press release. 

Chicago Man Arrested for Making Bomb Threat

On August 25, 2015, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to an electronic threat complaint.  The victim reported she had been receiving threatening messages via Facebook from an individual identified as James R. Childress (29), of the 1700 block of 67th Street, Chicago. 

James Childress.JPGLake County Sheriff’s Detectives became involved in the investigation and learned the threats the victim had been receiving were directed at Concordia University, located in River Forest, IL.  Childress had been threatening to “blow up” a building at Concordia University with a homemade bomb.  Upon learning this information Detectives immediately contacted Concordia University and River Forest Police Department to make them aware of the situation.

On August 26th, Detectives located Childress at his residence.  Childress admitted to Detectives he was responsible for the threatening messages sent to the victim.  He indicated he was upset with Concordia University because his application to become a student was denied. 

Childress was subsequently charged with Disorderly Conduct – Making a Bomb Threat (Class 3 Felony) and Electronic Harassment (Class B Misdemeanor).  The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) assisted in this investigation.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.  Childress is currently being held at the Lake County Jail on $150,000.00 bond.  His next court date is scheduled for September 3, 2015 at 1:30PM in Courtroom C-120. 

Update - Fatal Motorcycle Crash in Unincorporated Antioch

Lake County Sheriff’s Technical Crash Investigators continued examining the crash scene and evidence throughout the day on August 26th.  Investigators found indications a motor vehicle, which was not at the scene during the course of this investigation, likely collided with the 2007 Suzuki Motorcycle driven by Gregory Boyes (50) of the 26100 block of West Elm Street, Unincorporated Antioch.

Leena Ultsch.JPGAt approximately 9:45AM, Leena A. Ultsch (34) of the 26400 block of West Grapevine Avenue, Unincorporated Antioch, called the Lake County Sheriff’s Office to report she was involved in a traffic crash with a motorcycle during the early morning hours.  During a subsequent interview with Ultsch, Crash Investigators determined she was responsible for striking the Suzuki driven by Boyes.  Ultsch admitted she was aware she collided with the Suzuki and left the scene without contacting authorities because she was scared.  Crash Investigators located Ultsch’s 2004 Toyota Avalon at her residence and found damage consistent with her statement and the evidence located at the scene. 

Ultsch submitted to a DUI test kit by providing her blood and urine.  The results of the DUI kit are pending toxicology. 

Ultsch was charged with Leaving the Scene/Failure to Report Death (Class 1 Felony), and Failure to Render Aid (Class A Misdemeanor).  Ultsch is being held in the Lake County Jail pending a bond hearing on August 27th

The crash remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Technical Crash Investigations Unit. 


On August 26, 2015 at approximately 4:00AM, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded to a motorcycle crash with injuries.  Preliminary investigation indicates a 2007 Suzuki Motorcycle was traveling westbound on Route 173 west of North Linden Lane, in Unincorporated Antioch.  Initial indications are the driver of the motorcycle failed to negotiate a curve in the road.

The driver of the motorcycle, who was not wearing a helmet, was ejected and sustained significant injuries as a result of the crash.  He was transported to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, where he was pronounced dead.  

The identity of the deceased driver is being withheld pending notification of next of kin by the Lake County Coroner’s Office. 

As additional information becomes available it will be forwarded via press release.

Missing Endangered Man in Unincorporated Antioch

Helton 1.jpg

James Helton, a 39 year old male, was reported missing from the area of Route 45 and Route 173 in unincorporated Antioch.  Helton was reported missing on August 17th at approximately 7:30PM by family members.  Helton has been missing since Saturday, August 15th and is believed to be on foot in the wooded areas.  Helton is reported to have made suicidal statements. LCSO Deputies spotted Helton in the area of Russell Road and Frontage Road on August 18th at approximately 3:45AM.  Deputies attempted to make contact with Helton, however, he began running westbound through a heavily wooded area.  Canine units and AIR-ONE Emergency Response Coalition responded to the scene, however, Helton could not be located. 

Helton was last seen wearing black and grey checkered pajama pants and a black tank top, although it is possible he changed into a red t-shirt.  Helton has tattoos on his neck (red lips), right arm (Jordan Air symbol), back (words: Jesse James), and chest (word: Caylee).  He is 5 feet 11 inches and 190 lbs.  He has brown hair and brown eyes.  He has a full beard that is a reddish/brown mix.  His beard has grey hair in the area of his chin. 

If Helton is located, please contact 911 immediately and don’t approach him.

Sheriff Issues Telephone Scam Alert

slamthescam.jpgThe Lake County Sheriff’s Office has received reports of Lake County residents receiving fraudulent telephone calls from individuals representing themselves to be from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  These fraudulent calls are appearing on the recipients’ caller identification as telephone numbers used by the Sheriff’s Office.  Thus, it appears the victims are receiving a valid call from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, when this in fact is not the case. 

During this specific scam, the fraudulent caller states they are calling regarding a complaint which had been filed against whoever answers the telephone.  The fraudulent caller then gives the name of an “investigating officer” and instructs the recipient to call a telephone number to reach that “officer.”

In these instances the offenders are using tools to “spoof” their telephone number.  Even though these offenders are not calling from the Sheriff’s Office, they can mask their telephone number to make it appears as if the call is originating from the Sheriff’s Office. 

Residents should be aware when the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is requested to make a notification for an outside agency, a highway patrol deputy will be dispatched and will make the notification in person.  These notifications do not occur over the telephone. 

If you feel you’ve received a fraudulent telephone call, contact the Sheriff’s Office to determine the validity of the call.

Safety Tips:

  • Don't give identifying or personal information to anyone over the telephone, unless you have confirmed who you are speaking with
  • If you are unsure of a caller's identity, ask for their name and callback number, then hang-up and verify their information via the internet or telephone book
  • If a caller is asking for someone who is not currently home, simply tell the caller they cannot come to the phone (versus informing the caller you could be home alone)
For more information on phone scams please visit: 

-          Don’t give identifying or personal information to anyone over the telephone, unless you have confirmed who you are speaking with

-          If you are unsure of a caller’s identity, ask for their name and callback number, then hang-up and verify their information via the Internet or telephone book

-          If a caller is asking for someone who isn’t currently home, simply tell the caller they can’t come to the telephone (versus informing the caller you could be home alone)

For more information on scams please visit:

Sheriff Reminds Motorists Students Are Back in School - Drive with Caution

back to school3.jpgSheriff Mark Curran would like to remind motorists, parents, and children to use extra caution while commuting or walking to school. Now is the perfect opportunity to speak with children about safety when walking to the bus stop or walking to school. Safety tips include:

  • Walking with a group, a parent or a friend when possible
  • Walk on the sidewalk and only cross the street in crosswalks
  • When crossing the street look both ways to ensure no traffic is coming from any direction
  • Continuously look left and right while crossing the road to ensure no traffic is approaching while crossing
  • Don't assume someone driving a car can see you
  • Wear bright colored clothing so motorists can better identify you as a pedestrian
  • Never accept a ride from a stranger
Sheriff's Highway Patrol deputies are monitoring school safety zone areas and targeting drivers violating speed limits and cell phone restrictions as well as illegally passing stopped school buses. 

Drivers are reminded to slow down when entering and driving through school zones and refrain from cell phone usage. School zones in Illinois require drivers travel at 20 MPH or slower while schools are in session or children are present. In Illinois, schools are considered "in session" between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. 

Illinois law requires drivers approaching a school bus from the rear, or from the opposite direction on a 2-lane road to stop for any school bus receiving or discharging students and to remain stopped until the school bus resumes motion or the driver is signaled to proceed by the school bus driver.

Additionally, drivers should be extra watchful this time of year and yield for children (or any pedestrian) crossing the road. Sheriff Mark Curran stated, "Remember, it's everybody's responsibility to ensure children make it to school safely."

Sheriff's Office Announces Upcoming DUI Patrols

Lake County Sheriff Mark C. Curran, Jr. announces upcoming DUI enforcement patrols including a Roadside Safety check in an effort to reduce alcohol related offenses.

The Roadside Safety check is scheduled for August 21, 2015 from 11:00pm- 3:00am at North Lewis Avenue and West Beach Road in Beach Park. “The Roadside Safety Check is an effective tool for generating voluntary compliance by the motoring public” says Sheriff Curran.

In addition, the 2015 Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns start on August 24th and go through September 7th.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and hundreds of law enforcement agencies across the state to save more lives by strongly enforcing intoxicated driver and seat belt laws. Additionally the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit will be enforcing the laws of the waterways.

Sheriff Curran also reminds Lake County citizens that each year in Illinois hundreds of lives are lost in alcohol related crashes. “Do not risk losing your license, your car, your freedom or your life by driving under the influence of alcohol. If you drive impaired, law enforcement will arrest you” says Sheriff Curran.

Deputies working these details will be looking for drivers operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, seat belt violations as well as other violations of the Illinois Vehicle Code.

The Roadside Safety Check and the additional patrols are funded through a grant from the United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Administration. The grant is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.  

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Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.
Sheriff Mark C. Curran Jr.

Undersheriff Raymond Rose
Undersheriff Raymond Rose

Lake County Sheriff's Office
25 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue
Waukegan, IL 60085

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