Drug suspect still on the run

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - UPDATE 10/14/2010 - Law enforcement says the search has been called off. Frederick McLeod's name and profile will be added to the nationwide database to stay on the look out for him.

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The search continues for a fugitive who has escaped authorities for the second time in two days. Law enforcement is now focusing on a two square mile area near Highway 155 and Interstate 20, where they believe Frederick McLeod may still be hiding.

They say McLeod ran into a densely wooded area Tuesday after being pulled over.

Day 2 in the search for Frederick McLeod nearly ended as soon as it began.

"It scared me at first," said Debbie Wagner, who works at America's Best Value Inn.

Her morning shift started with a man sprinting from room 202. "I didn't know why they were chasing him," she said. So, Debbie stepped inside to watch what was happening on surveillance video.

McLeod met Smith County constables outside his room and took off. Deputy Mark Waters and his patrol dog pursued, but McLeod fled from the parking lot into the woods.

"Unfortunately, he was watching for us," said Waters. "He was waiting on a taxi cab."

With McLeod in dense woods, Waters then waited for reinforcement.

"We're going to attempt to still find him," said Waters. "We believe he made be laid down in the woods somewhere close to where we're at."

Patrols spread through the area, putting a pair of eyes on every opening. Four wheelers drove what could not be covered on foot. A DPS helicopter searching from above.

By afternoon the search spread to nearby Summerwood Estates.

"I'm still in shock," said Keonna Johnson, who spent her afternoon getting used to constant fly overs. "I hope they find him."

Neighbors stayed indoors during the search, hoping McLeod would not spend a third night on the loose.

"I hope they catch him soon," said Jolene Rogers. "The longer he's out there, the more desperate he's probably going to get, and desperate people do desperate things."

If arrested, McLeod faces two felony charges of evading arrest on top of a misdemeanor drug charge.

After he abandoned his vehicle, authorities say they uncovered nearly eight pounds of marijuana inside.

Copyright 2010 KLTV. All rights reserved.