Press Releases


Elderly Man Found Safe After 3 Hour Search

Helicopter Searching
For Elderly Man

August 18, 2014

At approximately 9:07 am, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a missing elderly man.  A caregiver went to the elderly man’s residence on Wintergreen Lane in the Norfork area and discovered his dog was locked in a bedroom and the man gone.   The last contact with the 82 year old was at 7 pm the night before when the caregiver left the home.

Sheriff’s Deputies, the K-9 tracking team from Calico Rock Prison and the Sheriff’s Helicopter all were involved in the search. At approximately 12:03 pm a woman called 911 to report seeing an elderly man matching the description near her home.  Deputies responded and found the man unharmed but confused. The man was checked out by medical personnel from Baxter Regional Medical Center after he was returned home.  

The woman told deputies she saw a Facebook post about the missing man and realized it was close to her home. She got into her vehicle and started looking for him. A short time later she spotted him and called 911. The man was located approximately approx. ½ mile from his residence in a wooded are.

The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank everyone who assisted in the search and the safe return of the man.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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Brandi Michelle Vanamberg

 UPDATE:  Sunday, 08/17/2014 at 5:30 PM:

    The woman who escaped from Sheriff's custody Saturday afternoon, BRANDI MICHELLE VANAMBERG, surrendered herself to the Baxter County Detention Center this afternoon on her outstanding arrest warrants.  She is now in custody on charges of:

Revocation of Suspended Sentence - Felony Bench Warrant
Contempt of Court - Misdemeanor Warrant

     Sheriff's Investigators will seek the filing of an Escape from Custody charge on Monday.  BRANDI VANAMBERG is currently being held without bond pending an appearance before the Circuit Court.



      The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the whereabouts of 42 year old BRANDI MICHELLE VANAMBERG who escaped from Sheriff’s Office custody this afternoon in the Whiteville area.

     A Sheriff’s Deputy made contact with a woman who identified herself as BRANDI VANAMBERG at approximately 1:00 PM today on State Highway 126 near Carson Creek.  After determining her identity, the deputy learned that BRANDI VANAMBERG had outstanding arrest warrants through the Sheriff’s Office.  One warrant was for felony revocation of a suspended sentence and the second was for misdemeanor contempt of court.

     The deputy arrested VANAMBERG on the warrants, placed her in hand-cuff restraints, and then placed her into the back of the patrol car.  VANAMBERG told the deputy that she had some personal property stored underneath the bridge over the creek and asked him to retrieve it for her.  The deputy agreed to do so and walked under the bridge to locate the items.  While he did so, VANAMBERG was able to roll down the back window of the patrol car and climb out, still in cuffs. As the deputy returned to the vehicle, he saw that VANAMBERG was gone.  Deputies believe she entered a wooded area to the West of the roadway.

     Several deputies and officers from other agencies responded to the area in an attempt to re-locate BRANDI VANAMBERG.  After searching for some time, a witness who lived nearby told deputies that he had observed a woman matching VANAMBERG’s description emerge from the woods and climb on the back of a motorcycle that had stopped to pick her up.  The motorcycle then went North on State Highway 126. 

     Deputies went on to check several residences where information indicated that VANAMBERG might have gone, but she has not been located.

     BRANDI VANAMBERG is a white female, approximately 5ft 5in tall, approximately 125 pounds, with dark hair.  She was last seen wearing blue jean shorts, white t-shirt, and grey tennis shoes, with her hair pulled back in a pony tail.  VANAMBERG is believed to be under the influence of controlled substance, but she is not known to pose a danger to anyone else.

     If anyone in the public has information as to the whereabouts of BRANDI VANAMBERG, the Sheriff’s Office would appreciate a call with the information.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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Ryan James Lindsey

     The Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with a residential burglary that was reported to have occurred between August 1st and August 3rd at 5762 Highway 201 South of Mountain Home.

     Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the residence on August 3rd and found that both the front door and the back door to the residence had been forced open and entry made into the home.  The victim reported several items stolen, including an Apple MacBook laptop computer. The stolen items were collectively valued at approximately $5,000. 

     During the investigation, the victim found a receipt from the Harps Supermarket in Mountain Home that had apparently been dropped or left behind by the burglar(s).  Investigators later examined video security camera footage from Harps for the date and time shown on the receipt.  From this footage, some still photographs of the persons at the store were captured and shown to the victim.  The victim identified both of the persons from her personal knowledge of them.

     On August 11th, Sheriff’s Investigators interviewed one of the suspects, a female, who admitted that she and RYAN JAMES LINDSEY had broken into the victim’s residence for the purpose of burglarizing it.  The stolen items were loaded into a GMC Yukon and transported to a residence at 1150 CR 27 in Mountain Home where they were unloaded and stored. 

     Sheriff’s Investigators and an officer with the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections went to the address on CR 27 on August 12th in an attempt to locate RYAN LINDSEY, who is on parole.  LINDSEY was found there, and officers also recovered the stolen laptop computer and other stolen items that were inside the residence. 

     RYAN JAMES LINDSEY, 21 years old of Mountain Home, was arrested and taken to the Detention Center where he was booked on the following charges:

Residential Burglary – Felony
Theft of Property – Felony
Parole Violation – Felony

     LINDSEY is being held without bond on the Parole Violation and has a bond of $25,000 on the new charges.  He will appear in the Circuit Court to answer on August 28th.

     Sheriff’s Investigators are currently in the process of obtaining a bench warrant for the arrest of the second suspect in the burglary.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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James Cody Buchanan

     The Sheriff’s Office has arrested 30 year old JAMES CODY BUCHANAN of rural Mountain Home after investigating a report filed on August 3rd about an incident that occurred at 3331 Highway 5 North.

     On that date, it was reported to the Sheriff’s Office that JAMES BUCHANAN had gone to the residence of his ex-girlfriend and entered the premises without invitation for the purpose of engaging in a confrontation with her.  While inside, he assaulted her, causing injury, and he also attacked a man who was inside with her.

     When the homeowner stated she was calling the police, JAMES BUCHANAN fled from the scene.  Sheriff’s Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for BUCHANAN, and he was booked into the Detention Center on the afternoon of August 6th on charges of:

Residential Burglary – Felony
Domestic Battery 3rd
Degree – Misdemeanor
Battery in the 3rd Degree – Misdemeanor

     He is held on $20,000 bond pending an appearance in Circuit Court on August 21st.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Eli Michael Weedman

     The Sheriff’s Office has arrested 31 year old Parolee ELI MICHAEL WEEDMAN on several charges after deputies responded to a disturbance on the morning of August 3rd at 86 Northbrook in the Gamaliel area.

     The initial call indicated a domestic disturbance with violence taking place between ELI WEEDMAN and a female victim.  Before deputies arrived, WEEDMAN fled from the scene. 

     After taking the report, conducting the initial investigation, and then leaving, the Sheriff’s Office received a call from a neighbor indicating that WEEDMAN had been seen to come back to the residence but had again gone back into the woods on foot.  As deputies responded back to the area, Sgt. Ken Grayham saw WEEDMAN and got out of the vehicle to make contact with him.  WEEDMAN was subsequently arrested, placed in the patrol car, and then taken to the Detention Center. 

     When ELI WEEDMAN was being searched, officers found two bags of marijuana, six Alprozolam pills, one Morphine Sulfate pill, and suspected methamphetamine. 

     ELI WEEDMAN was booked into the Detention Center on charges of:

Possession of Methamphetamine – Felony
Possession of Controlled Substance – Felony
Domestic Battery in the Third Degree – Felony
Violating a No Contact Order – Misdemeanor
Parole Violation – Felony

     WEEDMAN is currently being held without bond and will appear at a later date in Circuit Court.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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County Wide Sex Offender Compliance Operation Held Today

Officers preparing to
start compliance check

Loretta Gayle Dudgeon

Bruce Alton Cook

Joint Press Release-Mountain Home Police Department & Baxter County Sheriff’s Office

On Tuesday, August 05, 2014 a county wide sex offender compliance check was done on all of the registered sex offenders who live in Baxter County.  Four agents from the US Marshalls Office,  four officers from the Arkansas Community Corrections Office, two Troopers from the Arkansas State Police, two Investigators from the Mountain Home Police Department and five deputies from the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office fanned out to make sure all of the sex offenders were in compliance with Arkansas Law.

There are 72 registered sex offenders living in Baxter County (all other cities and areas of the county except within the City Limits of Mountain Home) and 18 sex offenders living within the City Limits of Mountain Home. Of these eight (8) are currently in jail or prison.  3 of the 72 registered sex offenders actually live in Marion County but work in Baxter County.

At the end of the compliance check, all registered sex offenders in the City Limits of Mountain Home were located and/or verified with only one minor noncompliance issue.  In Baxter County there was one arrest of a female registered sex offender for moving to a different address without notification to the Sheriff’s Office. 

Loretta Gayle Dudgeon, age 31 of rural Mountain Home, was charged with:

Failure to Comply With Sex Offender Registration Requirements  - Class C Felony

Dudgeon is currently being held in the Baxter County Detention Center on bond of $15,000 pending her appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court on August 28th at 9 am.

All other registered sex offenders in Baxter County were either located and/or verified with the exception of one who had absconded. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Bruce Alton Cook,  age 23 on July 7, 2014, his whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information about Bruce Alton Cook is asked to contact the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office.

We appreciate all of the agencies that helped with this operation.  Both Chief Manuel and Sheriff Montgomery are very pleased with the outcome of this operation.  It is the dedicated staff and officers of both agencies that do an outstanding job of making sure the registered sex officers are in compliance with Arkansas Law and the public is properly notified.

Chief Carry Manuel
Sheriff John Montgomery

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Ronnie Linn Jackson

     The Sheriff’s Office arrested a Salem, Arkansas man early this morning on felony drug charges after a deputy made a vehicle stop for a license violation.  At approximately 3:44 AM, Deputy Rockie Morrell stopped a 2013 Dodge Ram pickup truck on East U. S. Highway 62 Business in Mountain Home because it did not have a license plate showing. 

     During the course of the stop, Deputy Morrell learned that the driver, identified as 50 year old RONNIE LINN JACKSON, was awaiting trial on drug charges in another county.  Deputy Morrell obtained permission and consent from RONNIE JACKSON to search the vehicle.

     During the search, Deputy Morrell found approximately 1.3 grams of suspected methamphetamine and glass smoking pipes used to ingest controlled substances.  RONNIE LINN JACKSON was arrested and transported to the Detention Center where he was booked on charges of:

Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) – Felony
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Felony
No Vehicle License – Misdemeanor
No Seat Belt – Violation

     JACKSON is being held in lieu of $7,500 bond, and he will appear in the Circuit Court to answer on August 14th.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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     A rural Gassville man was arrested this weekend by Sheriff’s Deputies after they responded to a complaint call at Peal’s Resort in Salesville.  At approximately 11:39 PM on August 1st, Corporal William Altazan was dispatched to reported break-in at unit #7 at Peal’s Resort. 

     According to the victims residing there, an acquaintance by the name of JAREDMICHAEL MAJOR had been at their residence earlier in the evening.  They asked him to leave, which he eventually did.  The victims then left their residence.  When they returned two hours later, they saw someone inside the residence looking out the window at them.  They entered and found JARED MAJOR inside.  MAJOR began making excuses as to why he had entered the residence, and the Sheriff’s Office was called.  Prior to the arrival of responding officers, JARED MAJOR fought with the manager of the resort, striking him in the face and causing injury.

     Corporal Altazan found where the air conditioning unit had been knocked out of the window.  On the ground was a twenty dollar bill, three one dollar bills, a bottle of cologne, and other items belonging to the victims. 

     JARED MAJOR was arrested at the scene and transported to the Detention Center for booking.  After being booked, MAJOR disrupted the Detention Center by intentionally flooding his cell and causing a disturbance.  He has been charged with:

Residential Burglary – Felony
Theft of Property – Misdemeanor
Battery in the Third Degree – Misdemeanor
Impairing the Operations of a Vital Public Facility – Misdemeanor

     JARED MAJOR is being held in lieu of $16,000 bond and will appear in Circuit Court to answer on August 7th.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Death Investigation Underway of 57 Year Old Man Who Died on a Bike Trail

On Aug 3,2014 at approximately 9:36 am, Baxter County Deputy, Corporal  Kris Savino responded to a 911 call at the bike trails on the west side of Hwy. 201 N. at Pigeon Creek. The 911 call was of a report  of a male subject that was down and not breathing.  

The victim had been riding bikes on the trails with three friends. According to the other bike riders in the group, the victim had fallen behind and then disappeared. The other riders went back and found the victim down on the trail and not breathing. CPR was started and the 911 call was made.  

 Baxter Regional Medical Personnel along with Clarkridge Fire Department responded.   When medics arrived they determined CPR was no longer useful and it was discontinued. The body was pronounced deceased by the Baxter County Coroner, Dr. Snow  at approximately 11:15 am.  Sheriff's Investigator, Sgt. Brad Hurst arrived and begin the preliminary investigation.

Although there is no foul play suspected, the victim, 57 year old Kirk Robert Dobstaff, of Greenwood Ave in Lakeview, AR was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock to determine the cause and manner of death.  

Agencies who also assisted at the scene were:                                      

Game and Fish
US Army Corps of Engineers
Air E Vac
Lakeview PD

Sheriff John Montgomery

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     The Sheriff’s Office was called to an unattended death at 1934 CR 645 this morning involving a 33 year old Baxter County woman, Shannon Elaine Drewry.  The victim was discovered by another household member at approximately 11:00 AM today inside the residence when he came home.  He believed she might still be alive and began performing CPR. 

     An ambulance was dispatched to the residence, but the victim was not revived.  She was pronounced dead at the residence by the County Coroner.  The body of the victim will be transported to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock to determine the cause of death.  No evidence of foul play was found at the scene.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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