Suspect charged in Pontoon Beach motorcyclist's death

News-DemocratMay 19, 2014 

— A Pontoon Beach man has been charged with killing a motorcyclist with whom police say he was acquainted.

Caleb Ryan Bailey, 23, of Pontoon Beach has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He is accused of shooting Travis Mayes, 43, of Pontoon Beach, late Sunday night.

Mayes was found dead beside his motorcycle on Nameoki Road in rural Granite City at 3:43 a.m. Monday when a Madison County Sheriff's deputy came upon what he thought was a motorcycle crash. Mays was found dead of a single bullet wound to the head.

Illinois State Police Capt. James Morrisey said Mayes and Bailey "know each other," but he wouldn't elaborate on their relationship. Relatives reportedly told authorities the men had a long-running battle over a woman. A 911 call had reported the motorcycle rider had been shot and provided information about the shooting.

John DeSherlia of St. Louis said his family and the Mayes family have been friends since he and Mayes were very young.

"Travis was a gentle guy and had many friends," DeSherlia said. "The family and friends are doing as best as they can. We are pretty much speechless, trying to wrap our heads around what occurred."

Illinois State Police, the Madison County Sheriff's Department, Pontoon Beach and Granite City police departments are all working on the continuing investigation. Bailey's bail was set at $2 million, and he remains in custody at the Madison County Jail.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or

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