AUTHORITIES ENGAGED IN MANHUNT IN SOUTHERN BAXTER COUNTY
Law enforcement authorities are conducting a manhunt this evening in Southern Baxter County after a vehicle pursuit ended when the vehicle occupants bailed out and fled on foot into the Ozark National Forest. At approximately 5:39 PM, the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office received notification from the Stone County Sheriff’s Office in Mountain View, Arkansas that Stone County officers were involved in a vehicle pursuit on Spring Creek Road in the City of Big Flat in Baxter County. The fleeing vehicle was said to be a White Ford pickup truck with a male driver and a female passenger. Stone County deputies were pursuing the suspects after they were accused of stealing approximately $150 worth of fuel from a store in Timbo, Arkansas in Stone County. At approximately 6:00 PM, Wildlife Officers with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission became involved in the pursuit, which came North on State Highway 341 (also known as Push Mountain Road), in Baxter County. The pursuit continued North bound in Baxter County for several miles, then turned West on Baxter CR 74 (also known as McGowan Rd), then West on Baxter CR 73 (also known as Culp Rd), and finally South on Baxter CR 131. The occupants bailed and fled into a heavily wooded area.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has launched its helicopter to assist with the search, and tracking dogs from the Arkansas Department of Corrections – North Central Unit have been sent to the area, arriving there at approximately 6:50 PM. The male occupant is believed to have an outstanding felony bench warrant from the Mountain View, Arkansas Police Department for a drug offense.
A description of the suspects is not currently available. The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has no indication that the suspects would pose any danger to other persons. There are five Baxter County Deputies in the area, as well as officers from other agencies. Additional information will be released as it becomes available.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff