September 4, 2013
A nearly 15-hour manhunt in Cowley County Wednesday was called off with the suspect still on the run.
The search for a man seen running from a home east of Udall about 9:30 a.m. was called off about 6:30 p.m.
Authorities said the man they were looking for may be the same man suspected of shooting a Butler County Sheriff's Deputy near August Monday morning.
The ordeal in Cowley County began when a woman who walked into her home through the front door and noticed a man running out the back door and toward the southeast. She called 911 right away, sparking the hours-long manhunt, Cowley County Undersheriff Jeff Moore said.
"We had several units out here within about 10 or 15 minutes," Moore said.
Just a short time later, even more law enforcement officers were on the scene. Eventually, about 40 officers from several agencies took part in the search for the man seen bolting from the house. Included was a group Cowley County uses often.
"We're really lucky here in Cowley County because we've got some people trained in the art of human tracking and they have picked up what they call a line of sign in several places and they're following that line of sign as we speak," Moore said late Wednesday afternoon.
That trail was looking promising for the trackers, whose resources were supplemented by plenty of support on the ground and in the air.
"We're working dogs, we're working man-trackers; all the resources we have," a man involved with the search said.
Investigators are not saying whether the break-in suspect took anything from the house, but they said he did not confront or threaten the woman who lives there. Moore said the description of the suspect is very similar to that of Jan Tracy Klbourne, who allegedly shot a Butler County Sheriff's Deputy near U.S. 54 and Santa Fe Lake Road near Augusta early Monday.
However, investigators are not certain they are looking for the same guy.
"We wanted to be cautious about this because we've got a guy that shot a cop up in Butler County," Moore said. "And because these events were so close in time and space, we didn't want to assume anything."
By evening, the trail had grown cold and the search was called off. However, officers and deputies will remain in the area and a smaller search party will be back Thursday.