Illinois sexual assault fugitive arrested in Ames

Esau Ancheyta Hernandez was arrested in Ames on Illinois charges of sexual assault.

Courtesy of the Story County Sheriff's Office

Esau Ancheyta Hernandez was arrested in Ames on Illinois charges of sexual assault.

A man from McHenry County, Illinois, was arrested on sexual assault charges just two blocks from Iowa State’s campus Monday morning following a 10-day manhunt, according to a McHenry County Sheriff’s Office press release. 

Esau Ancheyta Hernandez, 26, was found hiding under a bed in an Ames apartment after information developed by investigators in the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office pinpointed his location. He is currently being held in the Story County jail.

Officers from the U.S. Marshal’s Southern Iowa Fugitive Task Force forced open a locked bedroom door and located Hernandez under the bed. 

Hernandez faces Illinois charges of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, a Class X offense, for an incident that happened in Hebron, Illinois, on Oct. 13. 

“We expect to see this man face his charges here in the county once the extradition process has concluded,” McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim said. “We have been at great pains to locate him since the incident occurred.”

The family of the victim reported the assault to deputies. After being confronted by family members, Hernandez was reported to have fled on foot from the scene. 

Hernandez, who is from Mexico, was previously deported from the U.S. in 2012 after being apprehended in southern California.

A large multi-jurisdictional search followed, deploying multiple K-9s, drones and a helicopter, in the area of Hebron Road and the Illinois/Wisconsin state line, but Hernandez was not located until Monday.