Community lays fallen McHenry County Deputy to rest

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WOODSTOCK, ILLINOIS (WKOW) — Law enforcement officers, family, and friends said goodbye to the deputy killed after attempting to arrest a fugitive last week.

Hundreds gathered in Woodstock Illinois, to give their goodbyes to McHenry County Deputy Jacob Keltner.

He was killed last week in Rockford while working with a US Marshals task force in arresting a dangerous fugitive.

Throughout the hour-long service, Keltner’s friends and colleagues shared their memories of him as a talented deputy and loving father and husband.

“I can honestly say, unequivocally tell you, that there is no better fugitive investigator or police officer in this nation than Jake,” Tony Penna, who served with Keltner’s on the task force fought back tears while remembering his friend’s best qualities.

“I recently learned that his brother Luke has the same gregarious belly laugh,” Penna said. “When I hear it, I just want to cry.”

McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim shared his thoughts on the value of life.

He said that lives can easily be wasted, using the man who authorities say killed Keltner as an example.

While short, Prim said Keltner’s 35-year life was far from a waste.

“All our lives, whether we like it or not have a ripple effect on the lives around us,” Prim said. “I submit to you that Jake Keltner created, over his too short span of life, not just a ripple but a mighty wave of goodness and light.”

The funeral was followed by a 30-mile procession of nearly a thousand vehicles, taking Keltner’s body to it’s final resting place.

Francisco Almenara

Francisco Almenara

Reporter, WKOW

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