One caught, one escapes during Sunday manhunt

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Saline County Sheriff Wally George is attributing Sunday's manhunt and resulting arrest to guilty consciences.

George said the search actually began in the late afternoon with a domestic disturbance call in southern Saline County. Sheriff's Deputy William Renken was dispatched and left Marshall, heading south with his lights and sirens activated.

While en route, Renken noticed an abandoned propane tank on the side of U.S. Highway 65 and a car accelerating away from the tank at a high rate of speed. Because he still needed to get to the disturbance, Renken called for assistance.

George said he believes the men in the car were stealing anhydrous ammonia and putting it into the propane tank. He said when they saw the deputy's car, with lights and siren activated, they must have assumed he was after them.

"It spooked them," he said. "It was guilty conscience."

Shortly after Renken called in the vehicle, a car was reported abandoned on Route H.

Members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Saline County Sheriff's Department and deputized members of Slater Police Department went to the scene in search of the suspects.

The officers spotted two men who fled on foot into a nearby cornfield. During the search, the Highway Patrol made use of a search helicopter and surveillance plane.

While one of the suspects managed to allude authorities, Dustin Allen Wolfe, 20, was taken into custody.

Saline County Prosecuting Attorney Don Stouffer filed charges of class D felony possession of anhydrous ammonia in a non-approved container against him.

Wolfe is next scheduled to appear in Saline County Associate Circuit Court on July 30.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: