NEW BADEN, Ill. (KMOV) – Two police departments in St. Clair County suspect a massage business in New Baden might have been a cover for prostitution.
Police said the Athletic Spa, located near the Dollar General in New Bade, abruptly shut down when police began to investigate.
New Baden is a small village in St. Clair County where everyone knows everyone. So it was noticed when a new neighbor came to town in May, 2012.
Police said the extra notoriety might have been caused when the business manager of Athletic Spa, an older Asian woman, started advertising her shop in unusual ways.
“The ad was placed in the Riverfront Times in the back page,” said New Baden Police Chief Mike Riley. “The ad itself caused a bit of concern.”
After allegations of sexual favors surfaced, New Baden police set up a surveillance vehicle outside the shop to find out what was really going on.
“They shut down once we started a more intense investigation,” said Riley. “It wasn’t long. They were only open two more weeks.”
New Biden City Administrator Jimmy Morani said the city had no reason to deny the spa a business license.
“This was, as we perceived, a very lawful business and we had no reason to deny them in the village of New Baden,” said Morani. “But be aware, just because a business is advertising certain services or products, that doesn’t mean that’s what they’re doing.”
It’s not the first time police say they’ve seen the woman in St. Clair County.
After investigators in O’Fallon began asking questions, the OK Salon on Lincoln Highway closed down too. Police believe it was managed by the same woman.
Police say they don’t know where the owner took off to and have had no luck tracking her down.