NC national forest manhunt over after 6 days

MCDOWELL COUNTY, N.C. (WSPA) — Deputies say Phillip Stroupe II, 38, has been arrested in McDowell County.

Employees at the sheriff’s office said Stroupe faces criminal charges in McDowell County and will face a judge on Thursday.

No details about his capture were immediately released. Both Henderson County and Transylvania County sheriff’s offices announced Stroupe’s arrest early Thursday morning.

Stroupe had been on the run since Saturday.

Authorities said Stroupe fled in a vehicle before stealing a mountain bike and taking off into the Pisgah National Forest.


Several agencies searched the forest, as well as surrounding areas for Stroupe, who they believed was armed with a gun.

One day after authorities said Stroupe may have been seen in Henderson County, they announced they were treating the disappearance of a man as a possible kidnapping.

Thomas Bryson was reported missing near the area where Stroupe may have been spotted.

Bryson left his home in the South Mills River Road area around 8:35 a.m. Wednesday. There was no immediate word on Bryson.

McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene said they received word around 10:40 p.m. Wednesday that Stroupe may have been in Yancey County where he has family and fled towards McDowell County.

Officers spotted Stroupe in a vehicle on Highway 80 and used stop sticks, but Stroupe managed to get on Highway 70 where he jumped out of the vehicle and fled into a tomato field before he was apprehended by officers, Sheriff Greene said.

Sheriff Greene said they believe Stroupe was in Bryson’s vehicle, but there was no sign of Bryson.

He said law enforcement agencies are still trying to find the missing man.

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