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Alleged child molester commits suicide in Macomb

1-31-1997 Illinois:

Released on bond from Knox County Jail, Ralph E. Frakes ended any future court action against him with a self-inflicted .12 gauge shotgun blast to the head in the parking lot of McDonough District Hospital. Frakes, 68, of Williamsfield, Ill., left a suicide note.

"No witnesses; no one heard it," Larry Jameson, McDonough County Coroner, said in a phone interview Wednesday. "A clergyman found him."

According to Knox County State's Attorney Paul Manageri, three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse were filed against Frakes on Jan. 7. According to the Knox County Circuit Clerk's Office, Frakes was arrested on Jan. 10 after a warrant for his arrest was issued the previous day. Frakes posted $5,000 bond for his $50,000 bail.

"It's a tragic event for all individuals involved," Manageri said.

Manageri also said the state's attorney's office was prepared to assert two additional charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse Wednesday had he not taken his life. The recently dismissed charges related to two separate females, both of whom are minors, Manageri said.

Macomb police said they have deemed Frakes' death a suicide.

"I think our investigation is concluded. As far as we're concerned, that's what it is," Detective Robert Canavit, a Macomb police investigator, said Thursday.

Jameson said Frakes arranged his funeral services at the Clugston-Tibbitts Funeral Home in Macomb barely an hour before he committed suicide. Frakes had been at Clugston-Tibbitts at 2 p.m. before being found dead at approximately 3 p.m.

"He had gone to some of the local funeral homes, set up a service and then he went to the hospital," Jameson said.

According to Manageri, each count of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a class 2 felony, carries a prison sentence of 3 to 7 years. With the three counts, if Frakes was found guilty, he could have been placed in prison for 21 years.

According to Frakes' obituary in The Macomb Journal yesterday, Frakes was a World War II veteran and worked as a brick mason and farmer until his retirement in 1989. ..more.. by Joseph Poulos

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