Pratt's Wayne Woods death investigation leads to 'heavy police activity' in McHenry

  • The McHenry County sheriff's office warned of "heavy police activity" Thursday morning near the 1400 block of Chapel Hill Road in McHenry.

    The McHenry County sheriff's office warned of "heavy police activity" Thursday morning near the 1400 block of Chapel Hill Road in McHenry. Emily Coleman/Shaw Local News Network

 
 
Updated 4/7/2022 3:44 PM

Police activity Thursday morning at a home just south of McHenry Middle School was the result of an ongoing death investigation, the DuPage County Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team deputy coordinator said.

The advisory warning of "heavy police activity" was issued shortly before 7 a.m. Thursday by the McHenry County sheriff's office and advised residents to avoid the area near the 1400 block of North Chapel Hill Road in McHenry.

 

The sheriff's office was assisting the DuPage County Metropolitan Emergency Response and Investigative Team with an investigation, McHenry County sheriff's Sgt. Eric Ellis said in an email.

The DuPage County team was there to talk to a couple of people in connection with a death investigation initiated by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District regarding a body found a few weeks ago at Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve, Deputy Coordinator Tom Stefanson said.

The body of a 26-year-old Round Lake man was found late the morning of March 3 in Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve off Munger Road in Wayne, the DuPage Forest Preserve District said in a news release last month. The body was less than 30 feet from the side of the road, and fresh tire tracks were nearby.

"According to law enforcement sources, the man had suspected gang affiliations and had been missing since Jan. 3," DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson told the Shaw Local News Network at the time.

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The DuPage County coroner's office identified the man as Francisco Zavala Farfan. It said it had performed an autopsy but did not release a cause of death, saying it is in the "process of further investigation."

The death has not been deemed a homicide, Stefanson said.

The McHenry County sheriff's office said in an update to the public shortly before 11 a.m. that the area was clear.

By about 8:45 a.m., two marked police vehicles remained in front of a home on the 1400 block of North Chapel Hill Road, just across the street from the McHenry Outdoor Theater and just south of McHenry Middle School. One vehicle was from the McHenry County sheriff's office and the other from the DuPage County Forest Preserve District.

A pickup truck sat on a flatbed tow truck in the home's driveway, and other unmarked vehicles were parked on the roadway.

Traffic was moving through Chapel Hill Road without interruption.

There was no threat to the public, the McHenry County sheriff's office said.

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