Phelps County murder suspect in custody after manhunt

Police say a suspect in a Phelps County murder was taken into custody after a short but intense manhunt.

Rolla police confirmed to KRCG 13 a man wanted in a murder just outside the city limits was in custody Thursday night.

Police chief Mark Kearse said Phelps County sheriff's deputies were called to a murder about 3/4 of a mile outside the Rolla city limits and found the suspect had gone into town. Officers from the Rolla Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol joined the search, at one point even calling in a helicopter. The break came when a resident called to report a suspicious person near Winchester Drive. Police surrounded the area. Kearse said officers saw a person in black clothing moving quickly through yards and carrying a shotgun and at first thought it was a fellow police officer. They caught the suspect trying to scale a fence. Kearse said the suspect dropped his weapon and surrendered when confronted with drawn weapons and a police dog. Officials at Missouri S&T sent out an alert when the suspect came within three miles of campus, but there was never any immediate danger to students.

The Phelps County Sheriff's Department took the lead in the investigation. That department declined to answer questions about the incident.