Suspect in custody
Editor's note: This story appeared in print on Saturday, July 5, 2014.
MONTICELLO — A sense of relief spread through the city Friday as residents learned that police had arrested a man suspected of murdering Tonya "Toni" Bargman, a Monticello mother of two, at a rest area along Interstate 39 on Tuesday.
"I think it's in the back of everybody's mind. They want to stop him. They don't want him to do this to another person," said Monticello resident Barbara Carroll, who attended church with Mrs. Bargman, upon hearing about the arrest of Terrance P. Doddy, 36, of Rockford.
Wanted in two murders, Doddy was arrested late Friday morning following a high-speed chase with police that crossed the Illinois-Wisconsin border more than once.
It ended with Doddy losing control and crashing into a tree west of Beloit, Wis., according to the Rockford Police Department.
He was driving Mrs. Bargman's gray 2013 Nissan Altima, with Illinois license plates BARGMN 2, when he was captured.
Mrs. Bargman's body was found at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday by an attendant at the Paw Paw rest area on I-39 south of the Rockford area. Investigators reviewed surveillance video and determined she was attacked by a man as she exited the rest room, and Doddy was seen leaving in her vehicle, according to Illinois State Police reports.
Law enforcement officials issued nationwide alerts for Doddy, who was already wanted by Rockford police in connection with the murder of Todd Hansmeier, 37. His body was found a day earlier, beaten and partially burned, at a Rockford call center.
Since Tuesday, police throughout Illinois and the Rockford area had been on the lookout for Doddy, whom they expected was still driving Mrs. Bargman's vehicle.
Sightings of the stolen car began about 8 p.m. Wednesday, according to state police. That's when an off-duty Winnebago County police officer spotted Doddy near Machesney Park. Then, shortly after 10 a.m. Friday, the stolen gray Nissan was again spotted by a police officer in Rockton, Ill., hidden in a wooded area behind the abandoned Sand Trap Bar. As the officer waited for backup, the vehicle drove off.
Soon after, an Illinois State Police trooper spotted the car again, with Doddy driving, in South Beloit. He tried to stop it, but Doddy fled again, according to Rockford police.
The state trooper gave pursuit, and eventually was joined by additional state police, including air support, Winnebago County sheriff's deputies, Beloit police, and Rock County sheriff's deputies.
The chase went into Wisconsin, returned to Illinois, cutting through the village of Shirland, Ill., then back north into Wisconsin, at times exceeding 100 mph.
The pursuit finally ended on Highway 81 in the town of Beloit, when Doddy lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. After a short struggle, he was arrested and taken to a Rock County, Wis., hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries from the crash.
When released, Rockford police, said Doddy will be transported to the Rock County Jail and held on Rockford warrants for first-degree murder and domestic battery, pending extradition.
The criminal investigation of the murders is being conducted by the Rockford police department and the Illinois State Police.
In Monticello, Mrs. Bargman was memorialized over the weekend.
A visitation was held Sunday at Mackey-Wright Funeral Home. Her funeral service was at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cisco United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Bargman, 44, was the retail market manager and vice president at Central Illinois Bank in Monticello. In addition to attending Cisco United Methodist, Carroll also worked with her on the Monticello Chamber of Commerce's garden walk committee.
Carroll said it's been a shocking and surreal week, and hopes Doddy's capture gives Mrs. Bargman's family some peace of mind. Mrs. Bargman, who was married to Jon Bargman and had two sons, was active in the community and known by many, her friend said.
"She was just a very nice person. She always had a smile on her face and was always willing to help people; very supportive of our community, and a really good businesswoman," Carroll said. "She was just a great person, and a really great mother."
Mary Jo Hettinger of Monticello became friends with Mrs. Bargman more than 15 years ago when their children were first involved in activities together. More recently, Hettinger and Mrs. Bargman were both in the Monticello High music boosters together. Hettinger said her friend was very sweet, always had a smile and was willing to do anything for anybody.
"She was just always someone you could count on," she said. "Always upbeat."
Hettinger said she was very thankful when she heard Friday that police had caught Doddy and that he couldn't harm anyone else.
"I think everybody's just in shock," Hettinger said.
Carroll said she and her husband had just seen Mrs. Bargman a week earlier in downtown Champaign, working as a volunteer ticket taker at the Blues, Brews and BBQ Festival.
"The minute she saw us, she just smiled," Carroll said. "She was just a lovely person."