Fugitives’ Arrests Leads to Discovery of Deceased Virden Man in a Car in a Springfield Alley

By Benjamin Cox on November 12, 2021 at 12:41pm

Bradley Yohn of Springfield, Illinois (left) | Karen Blackledge of Quincy, Illinois (right).(Adams County Sheriffs Office)

Fugitives wanted for carjacking and attempted sexual assault led U.S. Marshals to find a dead body of a Northern Macoupin man stuffed in a car in an alley in Springfield yesterday.

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office confirmed yesterday that officers were working with the Illinois State Police, Springfield Police, and the U.S. Marshals on a homicide investigation, after marshals spotted a suspicious car in an alley while executing an arrest on two known fugitives out of Quincy.

34 year old Bradley S. Yohn of Springfield and 32 year old Karen D. Blackledge of Quincy were taken into custody about 2 p.m. Wednesday at 1906 Cornell in Springfield. Springfield Police issued a press release Wednesday night saying that about the same time, U.S. Marshals made an arrest in an alley in the 1900 block of Cornell. “While conducting that investigation, they observed a suspicious vehicle in the alley south of Cornell Avenue,” the statement read. “Further inspection of the vehicle revealed a deceased subject inside.”

Sangamon County Coroner Jim Allmon identified the victim today as 30 year old Derek J. Banker Barnett of Virden as the victim of a gunshot wound in the vehicle found near South Wirt Avenue.

Yohn and Blackledge each face two counts of home invasion, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated vehicular hijacking, residential burglary and aggravated criminal sexual assault. In addition, Yohn was charged with an additional vehicular hijacking that occurred in Adams County last week. They are currently being lodged at the Sangamon County Jail in Springfield on Adams County warrants.

According to Quincy’s WGEM, Adams County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jake McMahon says that two vehicles that were stolen in the case have been recovered. A blue-green pickup truck was found Thursday on North Bottom Road in Quincy, and a white sedan belonging to the woman police believe who allegedly was assaulted was found in Springfield.

Currently Yohn and Blackledge have not officially been linked to the homicide of Banker-Barnett. This story will be updated when more information becomes available.