Paying cash for a hotel room was a little strange, the front desk clerk thought as Dr. Anthony J. Garcia checked out of the Comfort Inn and Suites in Salem, Ill., early Monday.
But what Veda Eagan found more peculiar, she said, was that Garcia appeared upset at having to put his driver's license on file at the hotel because he paid in cash.
“He definitely wasn't happy,” Eagan told The World-Herald Thursday. “He seemed like he really didn't want anyone to know he was there.”
What Garcia likely didn't know was that law enforcement officers, including the FBI, knew exactly where he was.
They arrested Garcia about 6 a.m. an hour south of Salem, outside Jonesboro, Ill.
He was intoxicated, authorities said, and had a .45 caliber handgun with him.
After Garcia left the hotel, FBI agents called Eagan. They told her to keep maids from cleaning the room — and then they searched it.
Eagan said Garcia stayed in his room all night, alone. He didn't say where he was headed, but he was in a hurry.
“He seemed to be in a rush to get out of town,” she said. “But we see a lot of people who have that attitude.”