Suspect evades manhunt effort

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Photo by CHANSE WATSON Idaho State Police Cpl. Kevin Kessler scans the cliffside behind the Bisaro Mobile Home Park for the suspect. Troopers scaled the steep rock wall to get a better view of the area and search any alcoves he could be hiding in.

KELLOGG — A heightened police presence along Silver Valley Road between Kellogg and Elk Creek was quite noticeable last Friday as law enforcement attempted to locate a suspect who fled from a traffic stop earlier that day.

Idaho State Police Sgt. Sean Lind reported to the News-Press that the male suspect was initially wanted by law enforcement when he was caught speeding in the Interstate 90 construction zone near Mullan on Friday morning.

“I was running radar at the construction zone … at milepost 76 and he came through at 73 (MPH) heading west. I tried to make a traffic stop — he failed to stop.”

The suspect, who was operating a black sport motorcycle, was initially pursued by Sgt. Lind. Lind would break off from the chase so that other law enforcement units positioned deeper in the Silver Valley could intercept.

Units reported seeing the suspect going west at a high rate of speed until a trooper finally spotted him ditching his motorcycle behind a residence in Kellogg; leaving behind his jacket and helmet in the process.

With the suspect on foot in the northern part of the city, Kellogg High School and Middle School were put on safety holds as a precaution.

“This morning we received a recommendation from the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office that Kellogg High School should be placed on safety hold due to a policing situation unrelated to our school,” KSD Superintendent Nancy Larsen announced later that day. “Kellogg Middle School was also placed on safety hold as a precaution. As of 10:40 a.m. the SCSO notified us there is no longer the need for a safety hold.”

A safety hold is where all daily routines are followed in the school, but no one is allowed to exit or enter the building during this time.

Law enforcement lost the suspect’s trail for a while until a resident of the Bisaro Mobile Home Park reported seeing him running east between the park and the neighboring steep cliffside to the north.

ISP troopers and Kellogg police officers arrived on scene not long after the report and proceeded to search the area. Troopers could even be seen scaling the cliffside with weapons in hand, ensuring that the suspect had not climbed up or was hiding in a crevasse or gully. When this tactic failed to yield results, a drone was deployed to get an even better view of the scene.

Not long after 1 p.m., law enforcement received another tip that the now shirtless suspect was in the Montgomery Gulch area still heading east. Units, now including Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office deputies, fanned out between the Shoshone County Transfer Station and Elk Creek in an attempt to cut the suspect off. Deputies utilized Forest Service roads to get on top of the cliffs between those two locations as well. Despite all these efforts, the suspect was never found and is believed to have made it back to Montana.

When law enforcement ran the plates of the motorcycle, which was stored at Nickerson’s Towing in Smelterville, they ended up contacting the registered owner who said that he had sold the bike the previous day. ISP has suspicions that the suspect may have been the one answering the call while he was being pursued.

ISP Cpt. John Kempf stated that officials have been in contact with the suspect over the phone since the incident and he has told them that he plans to turn himself in. As of Monday, this has not happened.

Lind described the suspect as a white male, weighing 170-180 pounds with a possible short beard, a tan or white checkered shirt (believed to have been discarded) with a black backpack.

As of press time, ISP has not released the suspect’s identity.

If you have any information about this incident, contact the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office at 208-556-1114.

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