Illinois Murder Suspect Added to U.S.
Marshals '15 Most Wanted' Fugitive List
- The manhunt for an Illinois fugitive intensified today as the U.S. Marshals
named him one of the nation’s 15 Most Wanted.
Panaligan, 54, is wanted for allegedly murdering attorney Victor
Jigar Patel, who was found strangled to death in his Northbrook,
Illinois, office on Dec. 7, 2016. At the time of his death, Patel,
36, was representing plaintiffs suing Panaligan in civil court.
Panaligan allegedly lured the victim to his law office by scheduling
an appointment using an alias. Authorities believe Panaligan showed
up wearing a disguise, which was captured on nearby security
cameras, and then killed the victim in his office. Two days later,
Panaligan was detained at the Canadian border for allegedly
smuggling a firearm into Canada. He was eventually allowed to return
to the U.S. where he was interviewed by Northbrook Police in
relation to Patel’s death. During the investigation, authorities
executed multiple search warrants of Panaligan’s belongings and
property. Evidence collected eventually gave authorities reason to
believe Panaligan was the prime suspect in Patel’s murder. However,
Panaligan fled to Mexico before he could be arrested. On Feb. 8,
2017, an arrest warrant was issued for Panaligan for first-degree
“This senseless crime took the life of a man who was a husband and
a father to two small children,” said U.S. Marshals Service Director
Donald Washington. “The U.S. Marshals and our federal, state, and
local law enforcement partners will use every available resource to
bring John Panaligan to face justice for the heinous allegations
involving the murder of Victor Jigar Patel.”
Officials from the Northbrook Police Department agreed and added,
“The Northbrook Police are relentless in the pursuit of justice and
in the search for John Panaligan, who must answer for this crime
that widowed a spouse, and deprived two young children of their
Due to Panaligan’s international ties and dual citizenship between
the U.S. and the Republic of the Philippines, authorities believe he
could be anywhere, and may be receiving assistance from family and
friends to elude capture.
“We are absolutely resolute in our commitment to bringing
Panaligan to justice” said Diego Grimaldo, commander of the U.S.
Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force, which adopted the
fugitive investigation from the Northbrook Police Department on Feb.
8, 2017. “With our law enforcement partners, both here and abroad,
we will leave no stone unturned until he is behind bars.”
Panaligan is a 5-foot-5 male of Asian descent weighing
approximately 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.
The U.S. Marshals are offering a reward of up to
$25,000 for information leading
directly to his arrest.
Anyone with information should notify the agency at the nearest
U.S. Marshals office, the Communications Center at
1-877-WANTED-2, online via the
web, or an app at
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency