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Spree killing suspect caught in Illinois

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Nicholas Troy Sheley arrested at shopping center in Granite City, Illinois
  • Police say ex-con tied to eight killings over past week in Illinois, Missouri
  • He was alone, unarmed and arrested without incident, authorities said
  • Sheley had reportedly earlier called his ex-wife, saying he planned "more killing"
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CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Authorities have captured an Illinois man suspected of killing eight people in two states, the FBI confirmed Tuesday.

Bethe Hughes of the Illinois State Police photographs a trash bin after four bodies were found.

Nicholas T. Sheley, 28, was being sought in connection with eight deaths.

Nicholas Troy Sheley, 28, of Sterling, was arrested Tuesday evening at a shopping center in Granite City, Illinois, just 10 miles east of St. Louis, Missouri, Special Agent Ross Rice said.

Sheley was walking through the parking lot when he was spotted. He was alone, unarmed and arrested without incident on an arrest warrant charging him with the murder of an elderly man in Whiteside County, said Mark Maton, regional commander for Illinois State Police.

Just before he was arrested, Sheley stopped at Bindy's bar in the shopping center, prompting at least two patrons who recognized him from news reports to excuse themselves and notify police.

"He came in and he ordered a water ... went to the bathroom and then ... asked my boss to borrow a lighter to go outside and smoke," said Katie Ronk, a bartender. "When he went outside, that's when all the cops came in."

Sheley faces another arrest warrant from Galesburg, in northwestern Illinois, charging him with first-degree murder of a 65-year-old man. He is also suspected in six other killings, including that of a child, in Illinois and Missouri.

The victims -- six in Illinois and two in Missouri -- all apparently died from blunt force trauma to the head, the FBI said.

While at large, Sheley was considered armed and dangerous, with a criminal history of armed violence and resisting arrest, according to the FBI. Video Watch how Sheley was apprehended »

Sheley is scheduled for a court appearance Wednesday morning in Granite City, Maton said.

Details on his arrest were not immediately released, but authorities had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading directly to his arrest.

On Sunday, police conducting a welfare check in Rock Falls, Illinois, found four people dead, including the child. Four days earlier, another body had been found in nearby Whiteside County. Sheley was a "known associate" to at least one of the Rock Falls victims, state police said.

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Monday, authorities found a body in Galesburg, Illinois, about 80 miles south of Rock Falls and Whiteside County. Police in Galesburg obtained an arrest warrant against Sheley on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and vehicular hijacking in the death of Ronald Randall, 65, whose body was found behind a grocery store.

Sheley also is suspected in the killing of an Arkansas couple in Festus, Missouri, in suburban St. Louis. Missouri authorities told reporters the woman and man were in town for a graduation and last seen at the Comfort Inn in Festus.

Authorities suspected that Sheley was likely in the St. Louis area. A bulletin issued by the St. Louis County Police Department described him as an "extremely dangerous" methamphetamine addict. Video Watch psychologist discuss Sheley's actions »

"He has stated to his ex-wife that he has more killing to do," the bulletin said.

According to a Tuesday affidavit by FBI Special Agent Susan Hanson, Sheley invaded a home in Sterling, Illinois -- just a mile from Rock Falls -- on June 14. A woman inside the home told police the man was Sheley, it says.

Sheley then went to Iowa -- where he made a phone call to his wife in Sterling on Saturday -- and then went to Missouri, according to the affidavit.


A gas station attendant in Galesburg, less than 60 miles from where the call was placed near Davenport, Iowa, told police he saw Sheley, who appeared to have blood on him, at the gas station, the affidavit stated.

A stolen truck belonging to Randall -- the victim in Galesburg -- was recovered Sunday in Festus, near an Anheuser-Busch distribution plant, authorities said.

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