Authorities said they have located the suspect in a theft in Indiana and ensuing manhunt in Williams County.
Clear Lake, Indiana, Town Marshal Chris Emerick took the initial theft report at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
“We got the call from a Clear Lake resident who found his sport utility vehicle and trailer with two snowmobiles missing,” Emerick said. “He said it happened overnight; last saw them at 9:30 or 10 p.m. Tuesday. Woke up Wednesday and they were gone.
“Another resident familiar with the victim actually found the SUV parked on the side of the road near State Route 49 in Hillsdale County, Michigan,” Emerick said. “She called police and continued home but a short time later (on Ohio 49 in Williams County) she recognized the trailer attached to another vehicle and called police again. At some point, the guy stopped and fled from the vehicle and that’s how the manhunt began.”
Deputies recovered the second vehicle and trailer but the snowmobiles were gone.
At 2:59 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff’s office deployed two K-9 units to track the suspect from County Road 6 at County Road P.50 while the Ohio State Highway Patrol set a perimeter around the area with additional deputies from Steuben County, Indiana, and police officers from Montpelier and Edon. The Northwest Township Fire Department contributed additional manpower while two ambulances from Williams County EMS stood by. The patrol also sent in a helicopter equipped with thermal-imaging cameras Wednesday night to scan the area. Steuben County Sheriff Rodney Robinson said his deputies cleared an outbuilding during the search but found nothing at the time.
At 10:19 p.m. Friday, the Williams County Sheriff’s Office posed on Facebook that the subject was later located and was in the custody of Michigan State Police.
Lehman said several local residents assisted during the search. But he said “the unsung heroes” were the emergency dispatchers at Williams County’s 911 call center. “They coordinated the communications as we responded to the scene and did a wonderful job,” he said.
As of Sunday, authorities had not publicly identified the suspect.