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Suspect in Harrisburg woman's murder was released early from prison in October in another case
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Harrisburg

Suspect in Harrisburg woman's murder was released early from prison in October in another case

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Alexander McWilliam_Front.jpg

HARRISBURG — The man alleged to be behind the shooting death of 19-year-old Mishealia Meredith was released early from prison this past October — in a case where he was initially charged with murder, online prison and court records show. 

On Wednesday, Illinois State Police named Alexander McWilliam, 36, of Harrisburg, as a suspect in the murder of Meredith, who was found Sunday in a rural field in Gallatin County after being reported missing. McWilliam is wanted on first-degree murder. 

McWilliams has served prison sentences previously for both aggravated battery and obstruction of justice, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections' website. 

According to the court records website Judici, the obstruction charge stemmed from a 2018 incident in Saline County where he was initially charged with murder, aggravated battery with a firearm and obstruction.

He pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge April 29, 2020 and was sentenced to three years in the IDOC, records show. 

According to the IDOC website, McWilliams was admitted to corrections Aug. 21 2020 and was released on parole Oct. 9, 2020.

Authorities said McWilliam is wanted for his alleged role in Meredith’s shooting death. He is described as black man, 5-feet-10-inches tall, and weighing approximately 215 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Authorities say McWilliams is considered armed and dangerous.

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Police cautioned that if a member of the public sees McWilliam or knows his current whereabouts, they should not approach him.

Call 911 immediately, police said.

One shot to the head

Gallatin County Coroner Tony Cox revealed on Thursday that an autopsy completed Tuesday determined Meredith died from a single gunshot wound to the head.

Cox has preliminarily ruled her death as a homicide and cause of death to be a gunshot wound to the head. 

He told The Southern there was only one shot found during the autopsy.

Meredith was found Sunday in a rural field in Gallatin County after being reported missing. Cox previously told The Southern that Meredith was found near North Pool Road around North Fork Township.

Cox said the place Meredith was found was incredibly rural — the nearest home, Cox said, was a quarter-to-a-half mile away.

He also said there was no evidence on the scene that he saw indicating how she may have wound up in the field.

isaac.smith@thesouthern.com

618-351-5823

On Twitter: @ismithreports

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