Woman said she was threatened with a knife 4 days before she was found dead in Shiloh

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity. (Nicole L. Cvetnic / McClatchy)

The 39-year-old woman whose body was found in a wooded area in Shiloh on Jan. 19 told her family she was threatened at knife-point just days before.

Jill Renee Carroll was reported missing to the O’Fallon Police Department two days before the body was found, on Jan. 17, by her sister.

Carroll last contacted her family when she called her mother at 12:30 a.m. on Jan. 16 while at a Circle K gas station on Lebanon Avenue in Shiloh, according to O’Fallon police documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

In their phone conversation, Carroll told her mother that her boyfriend, Christopher McClelland, had left her. Carroll also told her mother that she’d been threatened with a knife at the apartment she had been staying at, O’Fallon Police Officer T. Bates wrote in the missing person report.

The police report did not specify who made the threats.

Carroll said since getting kicked out of the apartment where she and McClelland had been living, she was now homeless and without a car, Bates wrote.

Carroll’s sister told police that McClelland had Jill Carroll’s cell phone and that their mother received a text from Carroll’s phone on Jan. 17, the report states. The family believes McClelland sent the text.

Bates wrote that Shiloh police made contact with Carroll at a car wash in Shiloh at 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 16. There, Carroll told police officers she was OK and refused assistance. When Shiloh police tried to find Carroll at the apartments she’d been staying at, a man who lived there told them he hadn’t seen her since Jan. 15.

Bates met with McClelland, who told the officer he had been staying at the same apartment as Carroll and they would buy heroin from the man who lived there.

McClelland said he and Carroll had a fight with the man and left, walking to the Circle K. There, the couple got into an argument with each other and McClelland said he went to the Shiloh Police Station to ask for assistance. When he came back, he said Carroll ran away from him through a field near the gas station.

The next morning, when he went back to the field, he said he followed her footprints in the snow until they ended in the Glen Addie neighborhood.

He then told Officer Bates that he contacted Carroll’s family to tell them he still had her phone and they should report her missing to police.

Carroll’s body was found in a wooded lot in the 2400 block of Lebanon Avenue Jan. 19, near the Circle K. Though an autopsy to determine Carroll’s cause of death was conducted on Jan. 20, St. Clair County Coroner Calvin Dye Sr. told the News-Democrat those results could take up to three months to come in.

On Jan. 22, Dye said there was “nothing definite” about the manner of her death.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to call the Shiloh Police Department at 618-973-5816.

Hana Muslic has been a public safety reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat since August 2018, covering everything from crime and courts to accidents, fires and natural disasters. She is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and her previous work can be found in The Lincoln Journal-Star and The Kansas City Star.