KANKAKEE — Relatives of a man slain during a botched robbery said they fear for their safety after the killer’s escape from jail this week and the failure of authorities to catch up with him.
As the manhunt continued, Nelson Williams Sr. of Kankakee said he and his family are laying low and being watchful about who was knocking on their door.
“As I go home every night, I figure he might ambush me like he did my son,” he told WLS-TV on Thursday.
RELATED: Reward increased in hunt for escaped murderer Kamron Taylor
In a courthouse outburst in February, 23-year-old Kamron T. Taylor shouted at the family minutes after hearing the verdict.
Kamron T. Taylor escaped from the Kankakee jail on Wednesday. | Kankakee County Sheriff’s Office photo
Williams recalled that Taylor shouted, “I’m going to get you (expletive).”
The sheriff’s office did not respond to an email Friday asking whether the victim’s family had been offered any protection.
Taylor was found guilty of shooting 21-year-old Nelson Williams Jr. in the head during a June 2013 robbery attempt on his front porch.
Taylor escaped before dawn Wednesday from the Jerome Combs Detention Center in the eastern Illinois city after beating a guard unconscious, stealing his uniform and driving off in his SUV.
The Kankakee County sheriff has warned the public that Taylor has a weapon and “will not hesitate to use it.”
Twenty-eight officers have fanned out across the county, searching dozens of residences with the help of dogs and surveillance helicopters above.
Analysts from the Illinois State Police have been mapping out lists of Taylor’s relatives and associates, examining his past phone conversations and jail visitation records to help lead investigators to probable locations where the fugitive might be hiding out.
Kamron T. Taylor yelled at the gallery when he was convicted of murder in February. He had to be removed from the courtroom. | Mike Voss/The Daily Journal; distributed by the Associated Press
Sheriff Timothy Bukowski said Thursday that investigators are working on the assumption that someone is helping him evade capture.
“We have to believe … someone is helping him, concealing him,” Bukowski said. “We will prosecute those people.”
Authorities have increased to $7,500 a reward for information on Taylor’s whereabouts, according to the sheriff’s website.