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July 18, 2012 05:55 PM

Active Manhunt In Turner County

Dolton, SD

A man hunt is underway in Turner County. Law enforcement believe they have zeroed in on the fugitive who escaped from custody last weekend near Spencer.

Authorities have tracked a man they believe is Oscar Herrera-Menjivar into a cornfield in northern Turner County. Menjivar was being transported to Nebraska to face rape charges but escaped from custody Saturday morning on Interstate 90 at the Spencer interchange.

Authorities and property owners in the area have been on the lookout ever since.  Shortly after 10 a.m. Wednesday, a 911 call from a citizen in Turner County came in and focused the search efforts to a cornfield outside of Dolton, or about 10 miles northwest of Marion.

Law enforcement are using all the manpower they can to catch the inmate.

Airplanes circle a one-by-two mile perimeter set up by law enforcement in Turner County. They're looking for a man they believe is a fugitive. Sheriff Byron Nogelmeier asks residents in the area to stay inside.

"We're just asking resident to lock their cars, take the keys out. Lock their house. If they see a Hispanic man wearing shorts and a t-shirt to call law enforcement. Don't approach him. Call us and we'll get there," Nogelmeier said.

About 60 members of law enforcement from five agencies are involved in this search. Authorities believe the man is hunkered down in a cornfield or moving slowing in the heat.

Temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity add to the challenge of finding the inmate.  Law enforcement say that's one of the greatest factors working against them right now.

"The weather is working against us.  But the troopers, deputies and agents are all fired up to get this guy. 'Cause that's what we do. That's what we do," Nogelmeier said.

A dog tracked a scent north into the cornfield. Law enforcement also found footprints giving them confidence the fugitive is inside the area.

About 5:30 p.m., a fresh search team from Minnehaha County that specializes in ground searches began searching the same cornfield.

Until the man is found, authorities urge residents in northern Turner and southern McCook counties to remove keys from vehicles and lock all their doors. 

They also ask if anyone sees someone fitting Menjivar's description to not approach him, but call authorities.

 

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