Bounty hunters too late to nab escapee in attic
Police beat bounty hunters to a fugitive hiding in a Hillsboro woman’s attic last week, convincing him to surrender after threatening to send in a police dog.
“He had somehow escaped and they wanted him pretty badly,” chief Dan Kinning said.
Acting on a tip from McPherson law enforcement that 25-year-old Brandon Smith was staying in a vacant Hillsboro apartment, Hillsboro police searched vacant units at Oakwood Apartments on June 25 and 26 to no avail, said Kinning.
On June 27, a specific apartment, which had an unidentified woman living in it, was identified.
“That apartment had not been searched on the previous days,” Kinning said. “After a cursory search of the downstairs, we still couldn’t find him. But we noticed that the opening to the attic was askew, and there was debris on the floor, which indicated that someone might have been up there recently.”
Marion’s police dog was brought in to help.
“The suspect wasn’t making any noise,” Kinning said. “Once we threatened to put the dog up there, he came down pretty fast.
“We also had bounty hunters who showed up looking for him— I think for a bond revocation— but we beat them to it.”
Smith and the Hillsboro woman, who had allegedly been hiding him, were transported to the Marion/McPherson County line.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of interfering with law enforcement and harboring a fugitive. Kinning said he could not release her identity because similar charges were pending in Marion County.