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April 26, 2009

Authorities suspect Sumiton escapee left area in stolen vehicle

By Patrick McCreless

STAFF WRITER



Local authorities suspect the armed man who they thought was hiding in an Arkadelphia trailer for seven hours Saturday escaped beforehand in a stolen vehicle.

Cullman County Sheriff Tyler Roden said after agents cleared the trailer and discovered the suspect — Christopher Kahn Laye, 28 of Sumiton — was not there, a next door neighbor reported his vehicle had been stolen.

“It appears after he (Laye) ran into the trailer, he evidently came out and stole the car,” Roden said.

The vehicle is described as a 2009 blue Ford Fusion. Laye is described as a white male with short hair, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds. Authorities suspect he is armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and consider him extremely dangerous.

Authorities do not suspect, however, that Laye is still in the Cullman County area.

“It’s very doubtful he is in our area,” Roden said. “It was a coincidence he was in our area to start with.”

More than 50 law enforcement officers from several agencies surrounded the trailer, located on Highway 91, after an Alabama State Trooper in a helicopter witnessed Laye run inside around 11 a.m.

Laye escaped custody from Sumiton police Friday night after he was arrested during a meth lab bust. Roden said Laye stole a police car to make his getaway, taking the officer’s firearm with him. At some point, Laye stole another vehicle, which a Cullman County Sheriff’s deputy stopped Saturday morning.

Laye fled the scene and drove the vehicle to the trailer, which was unoccupied at the time.

After several hours of waiting and a few unsuccessful attempts at communication, agents launched tear gas into the trailer and sent in a robot to check out the scene around 5:30 p.m. A team of agents quickly followed, at which point they confirmed Laye was not at the scene.

Anyone with information about Laye’s possible whereabouts can contact the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office at 734-0342.



‰ Patrick McCreless can be reached by e-mail at patrickm@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131 ext.

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