Springfield residents question why body was found in alley the next day

Springfield residents question why body was found in alley the next day

Police identified the man found dead in a Springfield alley Friday as 20-year-old Matthew Blakey of Springfield.

But some residents were concerned with how the Springfield Police Department responded Thursday night.

Residents say they called police Thursday night about shots fired and are questioning why the body wasn't found until the next morning. Turns out, police were in the area Thursday, searching for leads or anything suspicious, asking around, and say in the end, they just missed the body.

“I was really scared,” said Keri Tate who called 911 Thursday night, around 10 pm. “I mean it was really close. I could tell, it was it was really loud."

Sangamon County dispatch didn't ask her if she needed an officer to stop by so Tate went outside onto her porch to wait, but no one came.

“My grandchildren were here when this happened."

Tate called the police again the next few days and didn't hear back until Monday. Her home was just about a half a block away from the alley where the body was found off of Henrietta St.

"I think 15-17 minutes in the area looking,” said Police Chief Kenny Winslow. “And unfortunately, did not locate the young man."

Chief Winslow said two police officers and a park officer searched Thursday night. They asked pedestrians about leads. One officer even came near the alley but was redirected by someone passing by.

"That individual directed the officers down towards Washington park, so he drove past the alley,” said Chief Winslow.

But some residents had a bigger concern.

“’Was he laying there all night dying?’” said Tate. “Could this person have still been alive?"

The County's Deputy Coroner, Jim Allmon, said no. He said the victim died within seconds of his gunshot wound.

"Unfortunately, no one went down that one alley. And believe me, my officers are beating themselves up for it,” said Chief Winslow. “Right now, we're concentrating on trying to find those who are responsible for this tragic incident and bring them to justice."

The police department is looking into communications improvements between them, dispatch, and residents. As for the officers that night, Springfield police are reviewing body cams and GPS trackers to see if they need to take any further actions against them.

Police have some leads, but still need your help solving the homicide of Matthew Blakey.

You can contact Crime Stoppers or the Springfield Detective Bureau at 788-8311.

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