Centralia woman allegedly beaten and choked by boyfriend

CENTRALIA, Ill. - A Centralia, Ill. woman claims she was severely beaten and choked by her boyfriend. Police say that man, Cedric Powe, is on the run.

"This is a parent's worst nightmare," said Melissa Kelly.

Her daughter, Chelsea Simmons, was attacked the night of Dec. 26.

"He strangled her until she passed out. And then when she became alert again, she started to scream and he then again strangled her. He kicked her in the face multiple times," she said.

According to an order of protection Chelsea filed against 27-year-old Powe, the confrontation started over a text message he found that she'd sent to another man. Her mom says this wasn't the first time things got physical. In the order of protection, she describes seven other instances of physical abuse.

"In February there was an incident and she was worried that he was going to hurt us," said her stepmother, Melissa Zack.

That time, Chelsea says, Powe held a gun to her head and then bashed her head into a door. They say this was the worst.

"We've had several opinions from several different doctors who all say she will most likely never regain central vision in her eye," Kelly said.

It happened inside Chelsea's apartment. She says there were three young children there at the time: her little brother, little sister, and Powe's young niece.

"She has actually had family members of Cedric contact her and attempt to place blame upon her that she actually deserved this because of something she had done," her mom said.

An arrest warrant for felony charges has been issued, but the Marion County State's Attorney's Office says it's sealed since he hasn't been arrested, and they can't say what those charges are.

Centralia police say they believe he's hiding in St. Louis. Chelsea's family has put up a $500 reward.

"So I just need him caught so that he doesn't hurt anybody," Zack said.

Centralia police say Powe is no stranger to them. They've come in contact with Powe more than 80 times, that includes arrests for drug possession, burglary, and violating an order of protection against his ex-wife.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call Centralia police at 618-533-7603.

If you or anyone you know needs help with domestic abuse there are a lot of agencies out there to help.


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