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Canine Dax finds man accused of beating and strangling girlfriend in Ingleside

Jonathon R. Pletz, 45, of Ingleside.

Lake County Sheriff Canine Dax is once again being recognized after he helped locate a man who allegedly beat and strangled his girlfriend in Ingleside and then located a missing endangered woman in North Chicago over the weekend.

Jonathon R. Pletz, 45, of the 34500 block of North Wilson Road in Ingleside, was charged with aggravated domestic battery, domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office responded around 2:40 a.m. Saturday to Pletz’s residence in Ingleside for a domestic battery in progress.

The victim, a 41-year-old woman, told police that Pletz, who is her boyfriend, choked and battered her. The man had already fled the residence on foot before sheriff’s deputies arrived.

Lake County Sheriff Canine Dax and Deputy John Forlenza were called to the scene and Dax began tracking Pletz. Following a quarter-mile track, Dax located Pletz hiding in a set of bushes behind a residence, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said.

Pletz was arrested and transported to the Lake County Jail where he remains held without bail. He is scheduled to appear in court again on September 17.

Canine Dax has appeared in the news several times this year, most recently when he was named the nation’s top Law Enforcement Hero Dog and then later when he placed top-dog at a regional competition.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office also said that the following day after Dax found Pletz in Ingleside, the award-winning canine located a missing endangered woman in North Chicago.

The woman had jumped out of a car that was traveling 40 mph and then ran away. Dax found the woman, who was not wearing any clothing, buried under a pile of tree branches in the woods.

She was taken into protective custody and transported to an area hospital for mental health treatment, police said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public to help Dax be named the 2019 American Hero Dog by voting on the Hero Dog Awards website. Dax will attend the awards gala, which will broadcast on the Hallmark channel, at 7 p.m. central time on October 23.


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