Escapee Linked to Abductions Caught

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Police have caught one of the two Kentucky jail escapees who are suspects in a pair of abductions, and believe they spotted the other man in Ohio, authorities said Tuesday.

One of the abduction victims, a woman taken from a parking lot in South Carolina, was still missing Tuesday. A sheriff said without elaborating that the arrest provided ``a lot of leads.''

L. Branden Basham was arrested late Sunday after allegedly trying to hijack a car carrying a woman and her 15 year-old daughter in the parking lot of an Ashland mall, police said.

An officer spotted a man less than a block away and chased him, and ``the suspect fired two shots at the officer, and the officer fired back,'' police Capt. Robert Ratliff said. ``Neither was struck.''

Police later found Basham in the nearby Ohio River, but don't know how he ended up in the water. He was treated for hypothermia.

Basham, 21, and Chadrick Fulks, 25, escaped Nov. 4 from the Hopkins County jail in western Kentucky. Basham was serving a five-year sentence for writing a bad check and Fulks was awaiting trial on robbery charges, authorities said.

Police believe they are linked the abduction Thursday in Conway, S.C., of Alice Louise Donovan of Galivants Ferry, S.C., who was taken from a Wal-Mart parking lot. She remained missing Tuesday.

Police in Conway had been conferring with Kentucky police since Basham's capture, said Conway Police Chief Sam Hendrick. ``There are a lot of leads coming out of that arrest,'' he said.

Authorities in Indiana, West Virginia and North Carolina also were investigating because the fugitives are known to have been there, Hendrick said.

Late Monday, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers spotted a man believed to be Fulks sleeping in a car with a stolen West Virginia license plate at a rest area in Marion County in north-central Ohio, authorities said. The man sped off when a trooper ordered him out of the car, which was the same make as Donovan's, the patrol said.

A trooper broke off the pursuit because he feared another officer had been injured while trying to stop the car, patrol spokesman Lt. Gary Lewis said. The other trooper was uninjured.

``Our trooper did not see anyone else in the car but we don't know if there were possible victims or abductions inside the trunk,'' Lewis said.

Basham and Fulks also are suspected of abducting James Hawkins, 42, of Hanson, Ky., who was taken 40 miles north into Indiana and left tied to a tree, authorities said. Hawkins struggled for hours Nov. 6 before freeing himself.

Basham, of Hopkins County, Ky., was being held without bail on charges of attempted robbery, criminal attempt to commit murder on an officer and fleeing or eluding a police officer.


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