Two in custody after pursuit across Virginia, North Carolina; ends two-month manhunt

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Authorities arrested Kenneth Chad Hatcher and Rebecca Elva Edwards on Saturday, April 18, marking the end of a two month investigation into a wanted fugitive. (Photos: Courtesy Carroll County Sheriff's Office)

Authorities arrested Kenneth Chad Hatcher and Rebecca Elva Edwards on Saturday, April 18, marking the end of a two month investigation into a wanted fugitive. (Photos: Courtesy Carroll County Sheriff’s Office)

CARROLL COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Two people were taken into custody in Carroll County on Saturday night, marking the end of a two-month manhunt involving several vehicle and foot pursuits through Virginia and North Carolina.

According to the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, at 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 26, a deputy tried to stop a vehicle on U.S. Route 52 in the Cana area, but the vehicle ignored the emergency lights and sirens, which led to a short chase. The sheriff’s office says the vehicle lost control and exited the roadway on Little Bear Trail near the intersection of Bear Trail.

A woman reportedly exited the vehicle and ran away while the male driver tried to exit. However, while the deputy attempted to cuff him, the driver physically assaulted the deputy, tried to disarm the deputy of his taser, and ran away with one cuff on, according to the sheriff’s office.

After an unsuccessful attempt to track the occupants with K9, deputies identified the occupants as Kenneth Chad Hatcher and Rebecca Elva Edwards. Members of the sheriff’s office searched the vehicle and found methamphetamine and marijuana. Authorities say they obtained warrants for both individuals and — with help from the community — they arrested Edwards early the following morning.

Several weeks later, at approximately 10:20 p.m. on March 17, authorities say a Carroll County deputy observed a motorcycle while on patrol on Oak Ridge Road in Cana and identified the operator of the motorcycle as Hatcher once he came into view of the headlights. Since the deputy knew of Hatcher’s outstanding warrants, the deputy tried to initiate a traffic stop for the motorcycle. While trying to escape the deputy, the sheriff’s office says Hatcher lost control of his motorcycle and crashed near the intersection of Brushy Fork Road and Woodcreek Drive.

According to authorities, Hatcher immediately ran into the nearby woods, ignoring commands to stop and that he was under arrest. K9 tracking was unsuccessful, but authorities say they searched Hatcher’s motorcycle and found numerous narcotics. The sheriff’s office obtained additional warrants on Hatcher for felony eluding; reckless driving; obstruction of justice; possession of a Schedule I or II drug with intent to distribute; and possession of a controlled substance for heroin, Xanax, Suboxone, and marijuana.

On April 18, a deputy with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office was patrolling U.S. Route 52 in the Cana area and observed a silver car traveling north on the highway with a male driver and female passenger inside at approximately 5:30 p.m.. The deputy identified the driver as Hatcher and — aware of Hatcher’s multiple outstanding arrest warrants — checked out the North Carolina registration, which came back as improperly registered and associated with a separate vehicle reported stolen.

The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Fish Lake Road, at which point Hatcher ignored emergency lights and sirens and drove south on Wards Gap Road into Surry County, North Carolina. The Surry County Sheriff’s Office took the lead in the lengthy pursuit through Surry County, but then Hatcher returned to Virginia and Carroll County deputies took over again, according to authorities.

Hatcher reportedly turned onto a logging road off of Apple Ridge Road until he couldn’t go any further, so Hatcher and the woman exited the vehicle and ran away. After a lengthy K9 track, Hatcher was eventually taken into custody and authorities say they found items consistent with methamphetamine and marijuana near his person. After another short foot pursuit for the female — who community members reported seeing nearby — she was taken into custody and identified as Edwards, the same woman as two months earlier.

After obtaining and serving additional warrants, the sheriff’s office says both Hatcher and Edwards are being held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail.

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