A Ralls County suspect remained at large at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, after leading officers on a manhunt Thursday, Oct. 17, that invovled vehicles, helicopters and police dogs.
Ralls County Sheriff Gary Dinwiddie reported the suspect is Jeremy Preston, 29, of the New London, Mo., area.
“We were going to serve a Probatlon and Parole warrant for absconding, because he did not check in (with his Probation and Parole officer),” Dinwiddie reported.
The sheriff’s department received a report of Preston’s location and responded. When officers arrived, Preston was in a pickup truck, “and he ran into one of our cars headon and took off,” Dinwiddie said.
This began the manhunt, which involved a road south of New London, Route FF and Plum Creek Road, according to Dinwiddie.
Officers continued to pursue Preston, he said, who then was on a deadend road. Preston next drove across a field and eventually wrecked his truck, Dinwiddie said. “He wrecked it running over trees six or eight inches around. That finally stopped him.
“Then he took off on foot,” the sheriff said. Helicopters were next used in an attempt to locate Preston on foot. One helicopter was flown from the hospital, then “we got a helicopter from the Highway Patrol with night vision.”
After this failed to locate the suspect, officers brought out two search dogs, Dinwiddie continued. They came from Pike County and Monroe County and did not find him.
“We called it off about 6 p.m. and got a call a half hour later,” Dinwiddie said. Someone reported “he was around Salem Baptist Church, so we started again. We got a search warrant, but did not find him. ... We searched until about midnight or 1 and never did find him.”
On Friday, Dinwiddie reported, “today we have been taking calls and still have not found him.”
In addition to the Ralls County warrant, Preston is believed to have other outstanding warrants, Dinwiddie said, “but we were trying to pick him up on the Probation and Parole warrant. He rammed one of our cars, trying to get away.”
Anyone with information about Preston’s whereabouts is requested to call the Ralls County Sheriff’s Department in New London at (573) 985-5611 or call 911.
“We don’t believe he is armed,” Dinwiddie said. “We don’t believe he is dangerous, but we do want to get him picked up.”