NORTHFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A felony warrant has been issued for a man after a camera was found in a bathroom at a north suburban elementary school.
Northfield police were looking Saturday for David Garcia-Espinal, 40, from Highwood. He was not in custody as of Saturday morning.
Sunset Ridge School District 29 Supt. Edward Stange said in a letter to parents that Garcia-Espinal is an employee of two private vendors that provide services to the district, and has been working at Sunset Ridge School – where the camera was found – since August 2016.
Both vendors conducted criminal background checks on Garcia-Espinal and did not find anything, Stange wrote.
A cellphone camera was found “hidden and recording from a trash can” in a staff-designated bathroom around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, according to a letter to parents.
The cellphone was taped to the inside of the classroom and appeared to be recording video through a small hole, Stange wrote.
The police took the cellphone and other evidence for processing, and inspected all the restrooms and locker rooms at the school. Nothing else was found.
Police then reviewed footage from the internal video camera system at the Sunset Ridge School, which identified Garcia-Espinal as a potential suspect, Stange wrote.
While police tried to find and question Garcia-Espinal, he had already left before he was identified as the suspect, Stange wrote.
The district eliminated Garcia-Espinal’s electronic access to the school building, and also contacted both his employers to terminate his association with the school.
While the bathroom where the camera was found is a staff bathroom, there are circumstances under which students also use it.
On Friday, Sunset Ridge Principal Dr. Ivy Sukenik met with sixth, seventh and eighth graders to address their concerns about the situation. Stange’s letter advised parents to do the same.
Mental health staffers from the school district’s private response team will also be available through the next week.
This was not the first such incident in the district in the past six months.
This past August, a substitute teacher and teaching assistant at Middlefork School, just down the road, was charged with possession of child pornography.
George Gemeinhardt was just in court on Wednesday for a status hearing. He is out of jail on $3,000 bond.
Northfield police did a full sweep of Sunset Ridge and the school down the street and didn’t find anything else.