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Bloodhounds, Copters Used in Missouri Manhunt

April 06, 1987|Associated Press

ROLLA, Mo. — About 250 law enforcement officers using bloodhounds and helicopters Sunday scoured an area where searchers found a blanket believed to have been used by a man suspected in the slaying of a church worker and the shooting of a policeman.

Authorities said they hoped the effort would unnerve John David Brown, who has eluded lawmen for seven days.

"Psychologically, it weakens the nervous system and it will defeat you," said Missouri Highway Patrol Lt. Ernest McCutchen. "We hope it gets to him and causes him to make a mistake."

Helicopters flew low over the heavily wooded area in east-central Missouri as the manhunt entered its seventh day.

Brown, who escaped in 1984 from the Ozark Correctional Center at Fordland while serving a burglary sentence, is also believed responsible for a break-in Friday at a rural home about two miles west of Rolla.

The intruder gulped down raw eggs and other food, then took a blanket and canned goods and fled into the woods. Treffie Cox, 86, was found bound but unharmed inside the house.

A ground patrol found the blanket Sunday in a shed about half a mile west of the home, the first fresh lead on Brown since the break-in.

Meanwhile, funeral services were held Sunday for Claude Curtis Long, 57, of Waynesville, who was killed Wednesday when opening the church for evening services. Brown is suspected in Long's killing but has not been charged.

Brown has been charged with shooting and wounding James Horn, a Rolla police officer, on March 30 as Horn and another officer were checking a report of a stolen vehicle outside a motel.

Horn was discharged Saturday from Phelps County Regional Medical Center.

About 85 Missouri National Guard personnel will continue to participate in the manhunt through sundown today, authorities said.

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