A woman who vanished more than four years ago after allegedly leaving a trail of destruction in her wake while driving drunk in Naperville has the dubious distinction of being DuPage County Sheriff John E. Zaruba’s most-wanted fugitive of the week.
The “Monday Manhunt Pick of the Week” was recently launched by Zaruba’s office. The feature each week spotlights a different fugitive from justice.
Zaruba this week turned to the public for help in finding Margaret T. Puleo, a 37-year-old woman who last lived in Wood Dale. She is wanted for violating her bail bond and avoiding prosecution on felony charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and aggravated battery in Naperville.
Puleo was arrested May 13, 2009, following her winding, 10-mile drive from the city’s east side to its far southwest side.
A Naperville police commander in 2009 told The Sun Puleo was drunk when she began driving her gold, four-door 1997 Infinity from the Huntington Apartments, at 20 S. Naper Blvd. “As she was trying to leave that apartment complex, she hit some large landscaping rocks” near a driveway, shearing shards of metal and plastic off the front of the car, the commander said.
Puleo then began driving west toward the campus of North Central College. She soon struck a silver, 2006 Chrysler convertible being driven near Chicago Avenue and Columbia Street by a 35-year-old Aurora man.
The commander said both drivers got out of their cars to survey the damage. A third motorist, who stopped after witnessing the crash, told them police were on their way to the area.
That information prompted Puleo to “jump back in her car and hit the driver of the first car” with her vehicle, the commander said. The man suffered a serious but non-life threatening injury, he said.
Puleo evaded capture for about 90 minutes, or until just before 7 p.m. Police at that time “got a call about a car that took out at least one and perhaps several mailboxes” on the 3700 block of Mistflower Lane, in the Tall Grass neighborhood some 10 miles south and west of the apartment complex, the commander said. Puleo was arrested in that area.
Police and court records showed Puleo posted bond after being arrested. Authorities have not seen her since.
Zaruba said Puleo stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 130 pounds.
She has blond hair and brown eyes, and her last known address was on the 100 block of Forest Glen Road in Wood Dale.
Those who believe they know Puleo’s whereabouts or who have other information about her were asked to call the sheriff’s office at 630-407-2400.
Further details about the Puleo case and the “Monday Manhunt” feature can be found at http://www.dupagesheriff.org/mostwanted.