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Local News

Missing woman attempted to take children from ex-husband's house the day she went missing

Tina Saunders, 40, of Minooka, was last seen in Morris on Mar. 21.
Tina Saunders, 40, of Minooka, was last seen in Morris on Mar. 21.

CHANNAHON – On the morning of the day she went missing, Tina Saunders, 40, of Minooka, was arrested on a charge of criminal trespassing at her ex-husband’s house in Channahon, according to a police report.

At 6:30 a.m. March 21, three Channahon police officers were dispatched to a residence in the 25000 block of Keating Boulevard for an unwanted subject. The caller, Adam Saunders who is Tina’s ex-husband, according to the report, told police that his ex-wife had entered his residence without his permission.

The report said Tina Saunders woke up their oldest son, age 16, and told him to get his two younger brothers, ages 12 and 10, and to meet her outside where her car was packed and waiting. Tina Saunders called her ex-husband, who then called the police.

When the officers arrived, they saw the overhead garage door open and Tina Saunders in a gray 2014 Ford Escape parked in the front of the house on the street, the report said. The officers spoke with Tina Saunders, who stated she did not go into the house.

The report said one of the officers then went inside the residence and spoke with one of the sons, who stated his mother woke him up and told him, “the car is packed get you brother and go.” (sic)

One of the other sons told police he was having breakfast at the counter when he heard the overhead garage door open and saw Tina Saunders come through the service door and go upstairs. Tina Saunders exited through the service door a few minutes later, at which time one of the children locked the door, police said.

Tina Saunders’ ex-husband told police she knew the garage code because she used to come and get the children from time to time, the report said. Adam Saunders also reportedly said that he and his ex-wife had been divorced for four years and that she had never lived at this residence. Until recently, he said, they had gotten along fine.

The report goes on to say, “Adam stated that within the past six months Tina has been (redacted).”

Tina Saunders was arrested at
6:52 a.m. and was transported to the Channahon Police Department, where she was issued a citation charging her with criminal trespassing.

The report goes on to say Tina Saunders made comments while in custody about “sitting in her car across the street and watching her kids get on and off the bus, now that she is no longer welcome at the house. Tina then said she would sit across the street at the Auto Zone in Minooka to watch her kids.”

She was released on her own recognizance at 7:54 a.m. and was returned to her car by one of the officers.

According to court documents, Adam Saunders requested and was granted sole allocation of parental responsibilities for their children as recently as Monday. The couple is due in court for a status hearing June 14.

The same day she was arrested, Tina Saunders also withdrew $300 from a bank account. She was reported missing by her father the next day, March 22, according to Minooka police. On Friday, her cellphone was detected in the area of New Orleans, although a close friend said Saunders did not have any ties to that area.

Tina Saunders’ father reported she was “acting strange and making strange comments” when she visited him March 20, police said. The close friend, who asked not to be named, said Saunders had recently been diagnosed with a mental illness.

Minooka Police Chief Justin Meyer announced Monday that his department was seeking the public’s help in locating Saunders. A news release said that at this point in the investigation, it was unclear what Tina Saunders’ intentions were, but that Meyer believed she was “vulnerable.”

“It is important to locate her so she can get the treatment she needs,” the news release said.

Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact the Minooka Police Department at 815-467-2298 or 815-467-2161 after work hours.

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