Illinois police warned that scammers are creating fraudulent GoFundMe sites using the name of a veteran officer who died in connection with the service last week.
The Bradley Police Department said Saturday that there are no legitimate GoFundMe sites created by the family of Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic, a 49-year-old officer fatally wounded Dec. 29 at a Comfort Inn on North State Route 50, about an hour’s drive south of Chicago.
There is one legitimate GoFundMe page created by the family of her critically injured partner, 27-year-old officer Tyler Bailey.
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“There have been several Go Fund Me fundraisers sent out by suspected family members to Sgt Marlene Rittmanic. NONE of these are legal and the family will NOT set up any fundraising sites through Go Fund Me,” the department said on its Facebook page. “If you see a fundraising page for Sgt Marlene Rittmanic, you can report it to them as fraudulent, and if you have donated to one, seek a refund.”
“There is ONE fundraiser page that has been created by Officer Tyler Bailey’s family,” the post continued.
Rittmanic and Bailey responded to a call about dogs barking in an unmanned vehicle. They went to a room believed to be where the possible owners of the vehicle stayed and initiated a conversation. The occupants of the room attacked them and both officers were shot, police said.
Rittmanic did not survive. Bailey was in critical condition and underwent surgery.
Fox 32 from Chicago reported that a total of five people have been arrested in connection with the shooting and the subsequent investigation: Darius Sullivan, 25; Xandria Harris, 26; Bryce Baker, 20; Daniel Acros, 19; and Joshua Adams, 26.
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Illinois State Police, the agency leading the investigation, announced that Sullivan was remanded in custody on Dec. 31 with the assistance of U.S. marshals in Indiana and will be extradited. Harris reported himself to the Bradley Police Department with his attorney present later in the afternoon.