By Randy Pierce
COLLINSVILLE — For his exemplary work leading the apprehension and arrest last year of a suspect connected with a kidnapping and sexual assault that occurred in Madison County, Collinsville Police Department Sergeant Sam Luna has received a certificate of merit presented to him at the 31st annual awards banquet hosted jointly by the Southwestern Illinois Law Enforcement Commission and the Southern Illinois Police Chiefs Association on Thursday, Jan. 18.
At the event held in Fairview Heights, Luna, nominated for the award by Collinsville Police Sergeant Brad Akers, was cited for “exceptional dedication and innovation in solving a heinous crime,” after spending countless hours diligently using technology and enlisting the assistance of other law enforcement agencies to achieve the results he was seeking.
The nomination leading to Luna’s award states he assumed a leadership role in the investigation along with “leveraging collaborative expertise and analyzing cellular data” while also utilizing cutting-edge techniques, such as applying genetic genealogy, in conjunction with his findings, resulting in the arrest last March of Timothy Dubois, 39, of Shobonier in Fayette County in southern Illinois.
The 39-year-old Dubois was alleged to have abducted, at knifepoint, a female victim about 7 a.m. after encountering her on the parking lot of a Collinsville retail center in November of 2022 then forcing her to drive to near Troy where the sexual assault occurred before returning to where he had kidnapped her. When the victim fled, Dubois left the scene and could not be found until nearly four months later after Luna’s efforts led to it.
By March 2023, Luna had gathered enough evidence to connect Dubois with the crimes then worked with the Metropolitan Enforcement Group of Southwestern Illinois, the Illinois State Police, Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System network, a regional response team and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department to locate him.
Akers’ nomination of Luna cited his “innovative use of technology, determination and collaboration” to eventually convince Dubois to confess to the crime, leading to 10 felony charges.
The SILEC/SIPCA certificate of merit is annually presented to a very small group of recipients who have demonstrated one or more of the following qualities: character, bravery, dedication, innovation, compassion or perseverance.