UPDATE: 11/01/2012 at 4:00 PM
The Sheriff's Office has been notified that 39 year old AFRICA WELLS is now in police custody in Blytheville, Arkansas after being located earlier today on a previous outstanding warrant and in response to the "attempt to locate" informational broadcast made yesterday by the Baxter County Sheriff's Office.
AFRICA WELLS is believed to be the driver of a vehicle that fled from the City of Highland Police Department, crossing through a portion of Sharp County, across Fulton County, and then crashing in Mountain Home in Baxter County in the early morning hours of October 31st.
Authorities believe that AFRICA WELLS fled from the vehicle on foot after it crashed, and authorities from multiple agencies conducted a manhunt and search for many hours attempting to locate WELLS. Another man, BILLY D. FURLOW, JR., was taken into custody in Baxter County several hours after the crash, and he remains in the Baxter County Detention Center. He is believed to have been the passenger in the vehicle.
The Baxter County Sheriff's Office is now working with the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney with respect to the filing of criminal charges against AFRICA WELLS.
Sheriff John Montgomery
ORIGINAL RELEASE BELOW:
One man is in custody and another man is still believed to be at large in the community following a vehicle pursuit that ended in a crash early this morning in the area of East U. S. Highway 62 B and Pioneer Trail Drive in Mountain Home.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office received notification at approximately 12:34 AM that an officer with the City of Highland Police Department, which is in Sharp County, was pursuing a vehicle that was about to enter Baxter County from the East. The pursuit was initiated because of erratic driving observed by the officer. The pursuit had already gone through portions of Sharp County, across Fulton County, and was preparing to enter Baxter County. Baxter County Deputies and Mountain Home Police Officers deployed to the area to offer assistance, but shortly thereafter based on communications received from Fulton County, responding officers believed that the pursuit may have been discontinued somewhere in Fulton County. However, several minutes later, at approximately 12:42 AM, both the suspect vehicle, identified as a 2012 Chevrolet Monte Carlo with Arkansas temporary tags, and the Highland Police Department vehicle, with the officer still in pursuit, had entered Mountain Home and crashed near the intersection of Highway 62 B and Pioneer Trail Drive. Neither the occupants of the suspect vehicle nor the Highland police officer sustained known injuries. The suspects fled on foot from their wrecked vehicle. Baxter County officers were not involved in the pursuit itself.
Baxter County Deputies, Mountain Home Police, and the Arkansas State Police began setting up a perimeter. The Sheriff’s Office helicopter was launched, and tracking dogs from the Arkansas Department of Corrections – North Central Unit in Calico Rock were brought to the scene. Approximately 12 officers from various agencies were involved in the manhunt at this point. The search was continuing when at approximately 3:47 AM, authorities were able to take one suspect into custody inside the nearby Walmart Supercenter. This man was identified as 36 year old BILLY DEWAYNE FURLOW, JR. of Blytheville, Arkansas. Further investigation leads authorities to believe that FURLOW was the passenger in the suspect vehicle. BILLY FURLOW was taken into custody and transported to the Sheriff’s Office for additional investigation. Sheriff’s Investigators uncovered approximately 10.3 grams of methamphetamine in the suspect vehicle as well as a small amount of marijuana, some prescription pills, and some cash.
BILLY FURLOW has been incarcerated in the Baxter County Detention Center on charges of:
Possession of Controlled Substance (methamphetamine) – Class A Felony
Possession of Controlled Substance (marijuana) – Class A Misdemeanor
Possession of Controlled Substance (Xanax) – Class A Misdemeanor
Fleeing from Police Officer (on foot) – Class A Misdemeanor
FURLOW also has holds for Parole Violation from Austin, Texas and for Probation Violation from Dallas County, Texas. He is being held without bond.
Based on the investigation to this point, the Sheriff’s Office believes that the driver of the vehicle may still be at large in the community. The remaining suspect is identified as 39 year old AFRICA WELLS of Jonesboro, Arkansas. AFRICA WELLS is described as a black male, approximately 5-10 in height, approximately 150 pounds in weight, with short hair. He was last seen wearing dark clothing. Authorities have information to suggest that AFRICA WELLS may be armed with a handgun. Based upon his past history, he should be considered to be dangerous. Authorities from multiple agencies are continuing to search the area for AFRICA WELLS. Persons in the area should take precautions of keeping the doors and windows locked on their homes, as well as keeping their vehicle doors locked and removing the keys. Persons should notify the Sheriff’s Office or Mountain Home Police if they observe WELLS or have any information as to his possible whereabouts.
Law Enforcement Authorities will continue searching the area and following up on any leads or information that are received throughout the day.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff