Police descended upon a McHenry residence and fire crews searched a lake in Mundelein Thursday as part of an investigation into a missing Round Lake man found shot to death last month.
An alert sent out by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office around 6:50 a.m. Thursday asked residents to avoid the area of the 1400 block of North Chapel Hill Road in McHenry.
The alert said there was heavy police activity in the area. Witnesses reported multiple police cars on the side of the road at a residence.
McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Kevin Byrnes said the sheriff’s office was assisting the DuPage MERIT Major Crimes Unit with an investigation.
DuPage MERIT Major Crimes Unit Deputy Coordinator Tom Stefanson told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that investigators were at several locations Thursday, including the McHenry residence, in regards to an ongoing investigation into the death of Francisco Zavala, 26, of Round Lake.
One of the locations was Diamond Lake in Mundelein. Fire department sonar crews were called to the lake around 8 a.m. Thursday to assist in “evidence recovery,” according to fire department radio traffic.
Zavala’s body was found in DuPage County at Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve off Munger Road in Wayne on March 3.
He was last seen on January 29 after being dropped off at Metro by T-Mobile, 458 North Cedar Lake Road in Round Lake, according to his family.
Zavala had intended to travel by train to Indiana to visit a woman after being dropped off at the phone store by his mother.
His family had not seen or heard from him after he was dropped off at the Metro store. His phone had also been shut off.
The Round Lake Park Police Department previously said that Zavala’s family filed a police report with them on February 7.
Police said that surveillance video from the Round Lake train station showed him at 10:54 a.m. on January 29 boarding a Metra train headed for Chicago.
“He was reportedly enroute to the Chicago area or Indiana to visit a friend,” police said.
Police were called to Pratt’s Wayne Woods Forest Preserve around 11:48 a.m. on March 3 after someone from a nearby horse stable reported finding a deceased male in the preserve, DuPage Forest Preserve District Police Chief David Pederson said last month.
“According to law enforcement sources the man had suspected gang affiliations and had been missing,” Pederson said.
Police found the body less than 30 feet from the side of the road and fresh tire tracks nearby.
Metropolitan Emergency Response & Investigation Team (MERIT) crime scene and evidence technicians and the DuPage County Coroner’s Office were called to the scene.
Investigators and the coroner’s office discovered gunshot wounds on the man.
The MERIT Major Crimes Unit also responded to the scene to help further investigate the incident, Pederson said.
The DuPage County Coroner’s Office performed an autopsy on the body and confirmed it was Zavala.
No charges have been filed yet in connection with the investigation.