Illinois police officer found dead inside a cabin in northern Juneau County
An Illinois police officer was found dead inside a cabin in northern Juneau County earlier this week, authorities said.
The Juneau County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that a call came in requesting a welfare check at a residence in the town of Armenia shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday. Dispatch also reported a second call from a neighbor who was at the residence and said two residents appeared to not be breathing.
Upon arrival, first responders discovered a man who was "noticeably deceased," the release states. The Batavia, Illinois, Police Department identified the deceased man, in a Facebook post, as one its officers, Joe Gudella.
Another man also was found in the cabin and was tended to by medical personnel. He was later transferred to a hospital and was initially on life support. In a GoFundMe post, the family of the man said he was no longer on life support, but "he has a long road ahead."
It's unclear what happened to the men, no cause of death has been revealed, but Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke described Gudella's death as "natural causes" and "accidental," in a video message posted to YouTube.
"We're in a very, very sad time down at the city of Batavia," Schielke said. "He was a beloved member of the department."
According to police, Gudella was staying at a family home in Armenia. Schielke said Gudella was a resident of Bloomingdale, Illinois.
"Officer Gudella was thoughtful and compassionate, and his positivity and zeal for life were infectious," police said. "He had a servant’s heart and a passion for making people feel welcomed and loved. In his time with the Batavia Police Department, he made a lasting impact on his peers and the community that he served with pride. He will be sorely missed by all."
Gudella had been with the department since January 2022, after serving with the Cook County Sheriff's Office since 2015.
Gudella had a wife and two children. His family set up a GoFundMe page, "hoping that any donations help ease the uncertainty and difficult decisions in the immediate and extended future." The fundraiser had a goal of $10,000, but as of Friday afternoon, nearly $100,000 was raised.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Illinois police officer found dead inside a cabin in central Wisconsin