Manhunt ends after kidnapping suspect found hiding in cornfield

Updated: Aug. 29, 2019 at 9:18 PM EDT
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SPENCER CO., Ind. (WFIE) - State police say that manhunt for a man accused of kidnapping a woman and child ended Thursday in a field near Highway 231.

[Kidnapping, chase suspects caught in Spencer Co.]

It all started Wednesday in Daviess County when sheriff’s deputies say the two suspects tried to abduct a nine-year-old on Keenland Parkway. They say the girl got away and her mother called police.

Deputies spotted the suspect’s van and chased them into Spencer County where the vehicle crashed in a cornfield. A woman and three-year old were also in the van, telling deputies they were forced inside.

Francis Wilkins was arrested Wednesday, but Robert Chilcoate ran off.

Chilcoate was caught Thursday after hiding from police in a corn field on Highway 231.

“Then, all of a sudden the grass started moving and there was a guy that walked up out of the grass and just went this way across 231,” said Stacey, who called 911.

The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office used drones and helicopters and got help from Indiana State Police troopers to find him.

“We’ve had drone units from different agencies, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, we’ve had some thermal imaging, U.S. Marshall service, and the various agency that we’ve had come out with K9 units," said Spencer County Sheriff Kelli Reinke.

The women, who spotted Chilcoate on Thursday, decided to follow him until police arrived.

“It was kind of scary, we were scared because we didn’t know what kind of weapons he had, so we kind of stayed back and just tried to watch him as close as we could,” said Farrah, who witnessed Chilcoate walking.

Chilcoate is facing two charges of kidnapping and a charge of attempted kidnapping in Kentucky and one case of resisting arrest in Indiana.

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