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Search for suspect continues

Area law enforcement officers are still searching for a man wanted for a reported home invasion in Fredericktown on Tuesday night.

According to the Fredericktown Police Department, officers are seeking Glenn O. Frick. He is thought to be armed with a .357 magnum revolver pistol. He is described as 5 foot 11 inches tall and approximately 145 pounds, and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a blue hooded shirt.

Frick, 47, is considered to be dangerous and was last seen Wednesday morning in the wooded creek area behind Pense Brothers Drilling Co. 

Police responded to the area behind Pense Brothers Drilling Co. for a report of contact with Frick. Employees stated that he was spotted inside one of the company's vehicles on the back lot next to the creek. 

Employees said they spoke with him, asking if he needed any help. Frick responded saying the union is "trying to kill me," and then fled on foot toward the creek area and disappeared into the tree line. 

When officers arrived on the scene an AR 10 308-caliber rifle was seized from the vehicle.

In an effort to keep the community safe, the Fredericktown Police Department conducted extra patrols. Madison County Medical and the Fredericktown School District were placed on a community lockdown. 

"After receiving this new information, a phone call was made to our school district," Police Chief Eric Hovis said. "Superintendent (Reutzel) placed the schools on a community lockdown until further notice and while active searches of the area are being conducted."

"I spoke with Hovis this morning and since they had not found him (Frick) yet it was decided to go ahead with the lockdown," Superintendent Brett Reutzel confirmed. "It was for precautionary reasons."

Fredericktown Elementary School posted on their Facebook page that students were busy learning and having fun as they remained on lockdown and staff were maintaining a vigilant watch at the entryway. As they awaited word that the outside danger no longer exists they assured parents that there was no threat to the school but that keeping students inside was the best way to ensure their safety. The school administration thanked parents for their understanding and cooperation with the lockdown procedures.

Hovis assured the community that resource officers are placed at the schools every day and not just when a situation like this occurs.

Early in the search, Hovis told residents to lock their doors, stay calm and call 911 if they hear or see anything unusual on their property. On Wednesday he was formally charged with armed criminal action and first-degree burglary. Bond is set at $100,000 cash-only.

Hovis said that officers responded Tuesday evening to 317 College Street in Fredericktown for a report of an armed home invasion. The officers were informed that the alleged suspect had fled the scene. Frick was then positively identified by the victims before any safety bulletins were released. 

"I personally requested everyone to lock their homes and property while we conducted the area grid search," Hovis said. 

According to Hovis, family and friends of Frick stated that he was raised in Fredericktown and was familiar with the terrain.

Hovis said that they did have other emergency calls Tuesday night, around the same timeline, that dealt with armed suicidal individuals which led to some confusion on social media.

"On a positive note it is great to have a sheriff like Katy (McCutcheon) who comes out with us and helps when things get a little hectic," Hovis said. "Thanks Madison County Sheriff's Department for your support."

McCutcheon said that everything went smoothly other than Frick not being found.

"The Police Department is conducting searches and I have assigned officers to the school for transports and extra patrol so normal business can be conducted," Hovis said. "We are working with the family and close friends to locate Mr. Frick safely. Our community's safety is my top priority."

Family members have said Frick has acted differently since a fall that resulted in a head injury. Hovis has said he doesn't believe Frick intends to injure anyone but Frick thinks someone is after him. 

If you have any information on his location, contact your local police department or Fredericktown Police Department at 573-783-3660.

We will update the story as we receive additional information. 


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A WWII vet remembers

Known as the “The Greatest Generation,” the veterans of World War II sacrificed more than most, traded their safety for the safety of others, and in many cases, continued to serve their community once they returned.

Although the war was well documented, most of these men never told their stories. They kept their accomplishments to themselves and simply went on with life.

Pete Wiley is one of those men. He's a Farmington native who spent a good part of his teenage years in the Pacific Theater jumping from one island to another and following General Douglas MacArthur around the Pacific.

“I was no more than 17 years old when I signed up,” Wiley said. “In fact, my folks had to give permission for me to join the Army."

Wiley wouldn’t have to wait long before his adventure would begin. Like most men from Southeast Missouri, he was first ordered to report to Jefferson Barracks for his physical and induction, and then from there, he was sent to Camp Wallace in Texas.

“When I went to Jefferson Barracks, it was the first time I had ever been away from home,” Wiley said. “It wasn’t too bad, I was pretty much as strong as a horse when I left J.B. From there, they sent me to Camp Wallace for Advanced Training.”

Although he didn’t mind his time at Jefferson Barracks, Wiley said Camp Wallace was horrible.

“Camp Wallace was nothing but sand and mosquitos,” Wallace said. “I was there for 13 weeks, and I tell you the mosquitos were so big they could turn your dog tags over and bite you underneath. I really didn’t mind leaving.”

After leaving Camp Wallace, Wiley had one more stop before shipping out to the Pacific where he would find himself in the thick of things throughout the duration of the war.

The young infantryman was sent to Camp Stoneman located in Pittsburg, California. During the war, it was the largest troop staging area on the West Coast for units deploying to the Pacific Theater of Operations.

“We were sent to Pittsburg, California where we boarded the USS West Point,” Wiley said. “There must have been 10,000 soldiers on that ship with more than 1,000 sailors to take care of us while we were underway.”

According to Wiley, his first jumping off spot was Sydney, Australia, an ocean crossing that he said seemed to take forever.

“We went in a zig-zag pattern all the way to Australia,” Wiley said. “We would go 10 miles and turn right, then another 10 and then go left. All the way over we did this. I didn’t think we would ever get there.”

It was during his first ocean voyage that Wiley first came in contact with the war. Although he said the ship was never under attack, the drills alone struck fear into the young man who had never left Farmington before leaving for the war.

“I was 17, and I was scared to death,” Wiley said. “These sailors told us when we heard the whistle for them to man the guns that we needed to cling to the wall because they were going to get their station and didn’t matter if you were in the way or not. The first time I heard that whistle, I became part of that wall.”

Over the next three years, Wiley would be in places that would be forever linked to the war — places like New Guinea, Leyte, Luzon and Corregidor. He would follow MacArthur back to the Philippines and meet people who had been a part of the Death March of Bataan.

“When we got to New Guinea, we got mixed up with these Australians, and let me tell you, they were mean, but boy could they fight. They would fight you in a minute,” Wiley said. “I was glad to see them. They took over everything. They really wanted to rid the island of Japanese.”

He said the most scared he had ever been was while on Corregidor.

“I was scared when I left Farmington, but I was the most scared on Corregidor,” Wiley said. “We got there before the paratroopers came in. When they came in they blew everything to bits. Me and another guy were in fox hole and our knees were shaking we were so scared.”

Wiley said they one thing he would never forget was when the Navy would drop flares during the night.

“Because of the shadows the flares made, it looked like someone was running. I will always remember that,” Wiley said. “When daylight came, it was the greatest thing because the nights were dark, really dark.”

When the war came to an end, Wiley said he boarded a liberty ship and headed back home. For most of the men, he added, they knew the war was over when they steered into San Francisco Bay and saw the Golden Gate Bridge.

“You can’t imagine how amazing it was to look up and see the Golden Gate Bridge,” Wiley said. “You thought, 'God, I’m home. I made it home.' But you really weren’t. I was mustered out of Jefferson Barracks, so when I saw the sign for Bonne Terre, then I knew I was home.”

Wiley would return to Farmington in January of 1946 and never leave again. He would meet the love of his life, Mildred, and marry her shortly after returning home and for the last 71 years they have been together.

Upon returning, Wiley first became a shoemaker but eventually took a position with the city’s electric department as a lineman.

“I fell right in to civilian life,” Wiley said. “It was pretty easy for me. After being a shoemaker for a while, a friend of mine asked if I wanted to come work with him with the electric company. I started as a lineman and worked my way up to be boss.”

Just one month after returning to Farmington, he and 96 other men who had served during World War II founded the Farmington VFW Post 5896.

“I am the last charter member of the VFW here in Farmington,” Wiley said. “We formed the charter in February 1946. When we first began, we would meet at Long Memorial Hall.”

Over the course of 70-plus years, Wiley said he has never found a reason to leave Farmington again.

“I grew up in Farmington, got a job as a lineman and got married,” Wiley said. “I fell in love with the city. It has been pretty good to me.”


kevin jenkins / Kevin R. Jenkins, Daily Journal 

Farmington City Administrator Greg Beavers points out the location of a new J-turn intersection to be constructed at the intersection of Perrine Road and U.S. 67. Both the city and MoDOT are pressed for time to have the project finished by the time a new company comes to the industrial park, hiring 700 employees.


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A chance of ... well .... Missouri weather

While the chance for any significant snowfall in the Parkland is now slim to none, today and tonight the region will see weather conditions that range from highs in the 60s, along with the chance for rain and possible thunderstorms, to freezing rain, sleet and even a little snow this evening and continuing into the overnight hours.

According to the National Weather Service, a strong storm system will move into southeast Missouri tonight, bringing along with it a sudden drop in temperatures, as well as a variety of frozen precipitation. Unfortunately, for those who were hoping for the first real snow of the season, the wait is most likely going to continue.

Models are showing that, while the Parkland is expected to receive a wintry mix tonight, any significant snowfall will likely occur further to the east, with a narrow band of heavy snow somewhere between Cape Girardeau and portions of western Illinois.

While the ice, sleet and snow accumulation is expected to remain well under an inch, travel conditions tonight into Friday morning could become hazardous as roads and highways are covered with a thin layer of ice that could make for slippery driving conditions.

With the start of the weekend and into next week, the big news will be the cold temperatures, along with just a slight chance of a little snow Sunday and Monday.

Here’s the NWS forecast through Wednesday:

Today, rain and thunderstorms are likely with a high of 61 and a south wind of 6-15 mph, becoming west in the afternoon and with gusts as high as 23 mph. The chance of precipitation is 80 percent. In the evening, rain, snow, freezing rain and sleet before 1 a.m., then sleet likely, mixed with snow between 1 and 2 a.m., then snow likely after 2 p.m. The low will drop to around 18 degrees. The chance of precipitation is 90 percent, with new ice accumulation of less than a tenth of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of less than a half inch is expected.

Friday brings a 20 percent chance of snow under partly sunny skies and a high near 26 and a cold north wind of 13-15 mph, gusting as high as 25 mph. The evening will see a 20 percent chance of snow before midnight and mostly cloudy skies, along with a low around 16 and a north wind of 8-11 mph.

Saturday will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 26. That evening skies will be partly cloudy, with a low of 9 degrees.

Sunday will see a 20 percent chance of snow after noon. Skies will be partly sunny, with a high near 28. In the evening, there will a 20 percent chance of snow after midnight, under mostly cloudy skies and a low around 19.

Monday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, could bring the Parkland a little snow after noon. Conditions will be partly sunny, with a high near 33. A slight chance of snow continues in the evening hours — but it’s going to be cold with a low of around 7 degrees.

Tuesday will be mostly sunny, with a high of 21. In the evening, expect partly cloudy skies with a low once again around 7 degrees.

Wednesday will be mostly sunny, but the high is expected to top out at 29.

For the latest NWS advisories, watches and warnings, check out the Daily Journal website at www.dailyjournalonline.com.