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Local News

Sex offender arrested for questioning in missing Joliet woman case

Peter Zabala, 43, was identified as a "person of interest" by the police in the investigation of the Oct. 13 disappearance of 25-year-old Ashley Tucker.
Peter Zabala, 43, was identified as a "person of interest" by the police in the investigation of the Oct. 13 disappearance of 25-year-old Ashley Tucker.

Joliet police arrested a 43-year-old man Sunday night for failing to comply with the sex offender registration act and for questioning in connection with a missing person case.

Peter Zabala was arrested about 9:15 p.m. Sunday on a Will County warrant, according to a news release from the Joliet Police Department. Zabala has been identified as a “person of interest” in the investigation of the Oct. 13 disappearance of 25-year-old Ashley Tucker.

Zabala, who was convicted of the aggravated criminal sexual abuse of a 14-year-old in 2007, was the last person to see Tucker before she vanished and was “within the vicinity of where some of her items were located,” police said.

“Zabala also exhibited suspicious activity before and after Ashley was reported missing,” police said in an earlier news release.

All attempts to locate Zabala for questioning were previously unsuccessful.

“Detectives know Zabala is aware of the attempts to locate him, but has purposely evaded contact,” police said. “Zabala knows he has an active Will County warrant for failing to comply with the sex offender registration act.”

Zabala last resided in the 100 block of Girard Boulevard, according to the sex offender registry. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for his sex crime and was arrested and jailed again less than three weeks ago on a domestic battery charge.

“I want to personally thank all of the citizens of Joliet and our media partners for their assistance in taking a known dangerous felon off the streets,” Joliet interim Police Chief Al Roechner said. “We will continue in our efforts to find the truth as to what happened to Ashley.”

Anyone with information regarding Tucker’s whereabouts is asked to call 911, Detective Tizoc Landeros at 815-482-5625 or the Investigations Division at 815-724-3020.

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