Suspect arrested after 10-hour manhunt in Franklin County

BENTON — A Decatur man wanted in Macon County was arrested Friday morning in Benton after a 10-hour manhunt.

The manhunt began at approximately 8:45 p.m. Thursday evening when West Frankfort Police requested assistance from Benton Police in the pursuit of a fleeing drive headed northbound on Highway 37.

Benton Police reports indicate that 37-year-old Philip Joshu was armed with a handgun. Upon reaching Benton Joshu reportedly turned onto Hudelson Street heading west and then left the roadway near the intersection at Du Quoin Street. After coming to a rest on the railroad tracks Joshu fled on foot into the woods near the Benton Park. A mutual search and investigation was conducted throughout the night by officials from The West Frankfort, West City, Benton, and Christopher Police Departments, Franklin County Sheriff’s office and Illinois State Police.

After a nearly 10 hour search Joshu was discovered by an off-duty officer on the southeast side of Benton near Greenwood Street. Joshu would be captured near the 1000 block of South McLeansboro Street by Benton and West City Police and Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputies.

During the arrest, police say a handbag was recovered containing ammunition and a significant amount of narcotics. Approximately two pounds of suspected methamphetamine, commonly known as ’ice’, a half pound of marijuana, 30 grams of mushrooms, and suspected LSD was seized. The methamphetamine reportedly has an approximate street value of $80,000.00.

At 8:15 a.m. an Ameren employee reported finding a handgun just off Highway 37 south of Benton. The .45 caliber pistol was discovered to have been stolen from Christian County.

Joshu is currently being held at the Franklin County Jail on a Macon County warrant for a weapons offense. The investigation continues and further charges are pending at this time.

Schools were locked down Friday morning as a precaution.