JEFFERSON COUNTY (WMIX) — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is assuring residents that the subject of a weekend manhunt is no longer in the area and that federal officials have strong evidence that he has left Illinois.

According to Chief Deputy Clint Taylor, Illinois State Police had information that 36-year-old Anthony Amundson was driving one of three vehicles operating as a caravan and transporting methamphetamine between Iowa and Missouri.

Troopers attempted a traffic stop on Amundson’s vehicle in Woodlawn but he bailed from the vehicle and fled on foot. Officials spent days searching the area for Amundson but he was never located.

ISP returned to the area with K-9 units a few days later and reportedly found evidence Amundson is believed to have tossed as he fled.

Then earlier this week the sheriff’s office received information about a suspicious vehicle with Iowa plates parked near the location where Amundson had bailed from his vehicle.

Deputies responded and two individuals from Iowa were found in the woods. They were taken in for questioning but were ultimately released with charges pending with the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office.

Taylor says the two are associates of Amundson and were likely in the woods looking for what he tossed as he fled but it isn’t clear for whose benefit they were searching.

According to the Iowa Sex Offender Registry, Amundson is a registered offender. He was convicted in 2002 of assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse.