Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Calling out the Cavalry

I'm not a real news hound, but it's been hard to live in the western half of the United States without being aware of the ongoing manhunt for a trio of prison escapees from Arizona and their female accomplice. After their escape, they shanghaied a pair of truck drivers and forced them to drive to New Mexico, where they then appear to have murdered a man and his wife to steal their pickup and head north.

They split up somewhere along the way, and one of the men was captured in Colorado a few days ago. The other three were spotted in the Yellowstone Park area on Sunday. This was a bit of a concern to my family, as my brother in law is working on a bridge construction project down there that requires him to show up at three o'clock in the morning. I do have to give the escapees credit, though. What better place to hide in plain sight than in the midst of throngs of cap and sunglass wearing tourists?

Yesterday the hay was finally ready to bale, the baler and tractor were both functional, and my husband was going great guns on a field over the hill and a mile west from the house. I walked out to take him supper right before dark. He said don't bother to wait up, he was going to bale as long as he could keep his eyes open. So I went home, got the kid ready for bed and was just about to hunker down myself when I heard a vehicle. I went out into the living room just in time to see a pair of taillights going west, down a track that leads to our haystacks, north pastures and eventually, the Canadian border.

Then the phone rang. My dad. The border patrol had called. One of the fugitives and his fiance/accomplice/cousin (eeuwww) had been spotted twenty miles away in St. Mary's and they were warning all residents along the adjacent Canadian line to keep their eyes open and lock their doors.

Did I mention my husband was a mile from the house, in the middle of a hayfield, alone? Without his cell phone, of course.

"Someone just came past, headed west," I told my dad.

"Are you sure it wasn't Greg?"

"I don't think so. It didn't sound like the brown pickup." As in, minus a muffler and rattling so loud you expect to find pieces of it scattered everywhere it goes. Plus, I'm pretty sure it hasn't had both taillights since we've owned it.

After a short debate, we decided Dad should call the border patrol and report the strange vehicle, while I drove out to tell Greg what was going on. It was quarter to eleven. Pitch dark. I went outside and, lo and behold, there was the brown pickup, parked in its usual spot. Oh, right. Greg was driving the newer blue Ford because he'd had to run to town for parts. I jumped in the brown pickup, which ranks amongst its few accessories a .22 rifle and full box of shells. Too bad the dome light in the pickup is broken and I am barely capable of loading the thing in the daylight.

I bounced and rattled out to the hayfield, flagged Greg down and shared the news. He sort of shrugged. I told him about the vehicle we'd seen going past.

"Oh, that was me," he said. "I forgot my flashlight at the shop."

Which was when the border patrol helicopter buzzed us. No doubt in response to my dad's call. Um, oops. But hey, excellent response time.

For complete details on the escapees: http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/apArticle/id/D9HGPS5G0/

19 comments:

Jamie D. said...

Wow. I was wondering about you guys last night, hoping the cons would pass you up if they were around. Glad you didn't get any of that trouble. Yikes.

It is good to know border patrol has such good response time though! Freaky.

Julie Weathers said...

That's pretty danged scary they are so close to you. Glad you didn't get DH arrested though.

Julie said...

Oh that is funny! Sounds like something I would do. Believe it or not, the people that these people murdered are from my neck of the woods. Well, where I grew up anyway.

Posey said...

This. Is. Awesome. Read it out loud to Charles. So funny!

But the rest, scary. Be safe!

Kari Lynn Dell said...

I have to be honest here, guys. I was sort of hoping the helicopter would land and all the agents would pile out. Always wanted to see it in real life.

Linda G. said...

Hey, better safe than sorry! But, yeah, too bad the helicopter didn't land. Would've been interesting to see that, up close and personal.

Katt said...

Always er on the side of caution... cause what if you hadn't called and it was the bad guys???

Well, there'd have been that swarm of hot males in uniform everywhere, but still, too much scary wrapped up in that for this kid.

I live about two city blocks from the BC-Washington border, drive Zero Avenue twice a day and I'm keeping my eyes open too. Border Patrol is certainly edgy... thank heavens.

Ron Scheer said...

Well told. A few more twists and it's material for crime fiction.

Courtney Fullerton said...

We watched that border patrol helicopter last night! And also pulled all the keys out of all the trucks and actually locked our house for the first time in months. I hope they catch that guy soon ... y'all be safe up there!

Tawna Fenske said...

OMG! There's a story in our local paper right now about a wife who shot her husband thinking he was an intruder. Hopefully you've got a better eye than she did (or you're not as quick on the trigger when you suspect your husband might be a wanted fugitive).

Thanks for reminding me I should blog someday about the time my husband almost got shot by the SWAT team.

Tawna

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Ron: Thank you. I think George Clooney should play my husband. And spend a few weeks at the ranch doing 'research'.

Courtney: Have you heard which restaurant in St. Mary's? Friends of ours own Johnson's Cafe.

Tawna: He was wearing the wetsuit, I bet.

Anonymous said...

I was reading our local news online(kbzk.com) and they reported the authorities followed a lead late Monday night about 10 miles from the cafe in St. Mary's. Hmmm I wonder who that was? Incidentally, your brother-in-law spent from very early yesterday morning until late last night broke down on the side of the road in Yellowstone Park (yes the narrow one with all of the tourists) with a 15 ton silo on wheels (well sort of on wheels, that was the broken part). I would have been forced to feel sorry for anyone who tried to mess with him after about 10 hours of that fun.

Lola

ArkansasCyndi said...

OMG. First it's a little scary that the fugitives were in your rea. I had been thinking about your and your family.

But to have a "strange truck" go by...you did the right thing callling border patrol...even if you seem to be setting them loose on your husband. HAHAHA

If only that helicopter had landed...

Kari Lynn Dell said...

Lola: Speaking of feeling sorry for them, I was sort of hoping they'd show up over at Wayne's.

Cyndi: That'll teach my husband to think he can drive the 'new' truck.

kd easley said...

Scary, but nice to know the Border Patrol can get there quick if you ever do need them.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Scary but exciting. Those escapees are crazy dangerous. Glad everything turned out.

Marcia said...

Didn't know St. Mary's was so close to you. They caught the one guy in Meeteetse WY after going to church and mowing their lawn. I was a bit concerned living here on the rez, as this would be a good place to hide. Glad you are all safe!

Cowgirl said...

You're brave to go out looking! I think I would have locked all the doors and hidden under the covers with the kids. Let the hubby fend for himself....that makes a great story, hope they caught the bad guys!

Weekend Cowgirl said...

Yep, I leave Montana and the excitemtnt hits (if you can call it that). Glad it was NOT them because they evidently were very dangerous.