NETTLE LAKE — Law enforcement officers from numerous agencies converged in the Nettle Lake area of Williams County Wednesday afternoon and evening, searching for a suspect involved in the theft of a vehicle and trailer. A Highway Patrol helicopter also was utilized in the search.
As of Friday afternoon, the suspect had not been located.
According to Chief Deputy Jeff Lehman of the Williams County Sheriff’s Office, just before 3 p.m., a truck and snowmobile trailer were reported stolen from the Steuben County, Ind., area.
Lehman noted that the stolen truck had been “ditched in Hillsdale, Mich.” A Williams County witness reported that the trailer, now attached to a van, was spotted in the area of Nettle Lake in the northern part of the county. A male suspect reportedly fled the vehicle on foot into a nearby wooden region on Williams County Road 6 in the vicinity of Road Q-50 shortly after 3 p.m.
“We had a couple K9 units searching the area, but they were unable to locate him,” said Lehman. The chief deputy then contacted the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Assistance to the sheriff’s office also was provided by Steuben County Sheriff’s Office, Edon and Montpelier police departments, Northwest Township Fire Department and Williams County EMS.
The search was aided by a helicopter from the Ohio State Highway Patrol around sunset. Lehman relayed that the helicopter was equipped with a forward-looking infrared camera, “which picks up a heat signature.”
Despite finding several deer in the wooded area, the suspect was not located. Lehman called off the search after approximately five hours.
Though no arrest had been made as of Friday afternoon, Lehman noted that law enforcement “has a solid suspect and evidence.”