Trio helped armed suspect during NC mountain manhunt, officials say

HENDERSONVILLE, NC (WSPA) – The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people and are still searching for one other accused of assisting a wanted armed suspect in North Carolina.


Jennifer Elaine Hawkins, 40, Frederick Aurther Badgero, 45, and Larry Jay Hawkins III, 23, have been charged with felony harboring an escapee.

According to the deputies, the three assisted Phillip Michael Stroupe II evade law enforcement.

Jennifer Hawkins and Frederick Badgero were arrested on Friday. Deputies are still looking for Larry Hawkins.

Henderson County officials are still searching for missing man Thomas Bryson.

Stroupe was captured Thursday morning in McDowell County after several days of searching and was found in Bryson’s vehicle.

Stroupe is facing numerous charges from McDowell, Henderson, Buncombe, Yancey, and Transylvania Counties.

Henderson County Rescue Squad and Mills River Fire Department are searching for Bryson in the South Mills River area, Saturday, and will be assisted by Haywood County Search and Rescue, Spartanburg County Search and Rescue, and the North Carolina National Guard.

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