‘Our hearts shattered’: Sheriff pleads for help in manhunt for person of interest in deputy’s death

first_imgTennessee Bureau of Investigation(DICKSON, Tenn.) — A Tennessee sheriff made an emotional appeal for the public’s help in finding a person of interest believed to be connected to the shooting death of a sheriff’s deputy during a traffic stop.“Our hearts shattered with this,” Dickson County Sheriff Joe Bledsoe said at a news conference this afternoon.The deputy who was killed has been identified as Sgt. Daniel Scott Baker, who started with the department 10 years ago and was also a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.Bledsoe said that Baker moved up through the ranks and was “one of our best deputies.”“He’s one of the guys that puts it on the line every day to keep our community safe,” Bledsoe said of Baker, who is survived by a wife and daughter.The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released the name and a photo of the person of interest in the case, whom they have identified as Steven Wiggins.The agency wrote on Twitter that Wiggins is “believed to be armed and dangerous,” and called for the public’s help to find him.Bledsoe said that Baker came into contact with Wiggins after he responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle.Acting TBI Director Jason Locke said that when Baker didn’t check in after the call, attempts were made to track him and his vehicle down using GPS.The vehicle was found in a wooded area, two miles away from the location of the original suspicious vehicle call, Locke said, adding that video from the area confirmed to authorities that Wiggins was the suspect responsible for Baker’s death.Wiggins has been added to the state’s Top 10 Most Wanted list along with a $7,500 reward for information.On the Top 10 listing, it states that he is wanted for aggravated assault and theft, while also being a person of interest in the killing of the deputy.TBI records show that Wiggins is 31 years old and has previously been arrested for multiple cases of assault and domestic assault, as well as cases involving aggravated kidnapping, false imprisonment, leaving the scene of an accident, unlawful possession of a weapon and theft.Bledsoe said that a member of the deputy’s family has been told of his death, and they are “devastated, just like we are.”“Even though our hearts [are] broken, we’re driven right now with a focus and resolve that this person is captured,” Bledsoe said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

‘Jayme is safe and we will make sure forever,’ family of Wisconsin girl who escaped man who allegedly killed her parents

first_imgJennifer Smith(NEW YORK) — New photos released Saturday of Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old Wisconsin girl who spent 88 days in captivity after being abducted by her parent’s alleged killer, show her smiling and cuddling with her dogs and posing for a selfie with an aunt who had prayed for her safe return.“Jayme had a pretty good night sleep,” Jayme’s overjoyed aunt, Jennifer Smith, said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “It was great to know she was next to me all night. What a great feeling to have her home.”Authorities said Jayme escaped Thursday from a cabin where she was being held by a man who allegedly kidnapped her in October, according to officials at the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, who spearheaded the search for her.She was found in Gordon, Wisconsin, about 70 miles north of her hometown of BarronAfter escaping, Jayme approached Jeanne Nutter, who was out walking her dog. Nutter told ABC News that Jayme looked disheveled, cold, thin and wearing shoes too large for her feet.“I need help,” Jayme said in a soft voice, according to Nutter. “…I’m Jayme Closs, I don’t know where I’m at.”After escaping, Jayme approached Jeanne Nutter, who was out walking her dog. Nutter told ABC News that Jayme looked disheveled, cold, thin and wearing shoes too large for her feet.“I need help,” Jayme said in a soft voice, according to Nutter. “…I’m Jayme Closs, I don’t know where I’m at.”Jake Thomas Patterson, 21, of Gordon, was arrested and charged with kidnapping the eighth-grader and killing her parents, Denise and James Closs, officials said. Patterson is expected to make his initial court appearance on the charges on Monday.Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Patterson had specific intentions to kidnap Jayme, but it remains unclear how he became aware of the girl, Fitzgerald said.Investigators have yet to comment on what Jayme endured during her 88 days in captivity.Her family said Saturday that she is “full of big smiles today.”“It will be a long road but we are family strong and we love this little girl so much!!” Smith wrote on Facebook. “We will do anything and everything!! My beloved sister Denise pooh and brother in law Jim can rest at peace and I keep assuring them Jayme is safe and we will make sure forever.”Jayme’s ordeal began on Oct. 15, when a 911 hangup call was placed from her home and a dispatcher reported hearing people yelling in the background.When sheriff’s deputies went to the Closs family home, they found Denise Closs, 46, and her husband, James, 56, shot to death. Jayme was nowhere to be found and immediately investigators feared her parent’s killer abducted her.A massive search for the girl was launched and thousands of volunteers helped comb the area near her rural home. A reward of $50,000 was offered for information on the girl’s whereabouts.But in the end, Fitzgerald said, Jayme ended up saving herself.“It’s amazing, the will of that 13-year-old girl to survive and escape,” Fitzgerald said. “That comes from the hope and the prayers in this community and what everybody did.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more