Murder Suspect Armed With Machete On The Run In Pocola
LEFLORE COUNTY, Oklahoma - A murder suspect is on the run and armed with a machete in Pocola, according to authorities.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is investigating a “deceased woman” near a park in Pocola, and schools there have been put on lockdown as a precaution, according to the Capt. Troy German with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
The OHP told KFSM, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, the woman was found near the J.L. Swink Municipal Park.
The suspect is Steven Asher, 31, according to Kagen Bevil, dispatch supervisor at the LeFlore County Sheriff's Office. Asher is described as a white male, about 6 feet tall, 130 pounds, with green eyes and blondish-brown hair.
He was last seen with no shirt, denim shorts and blood all over his face. He was said to be carrying a machete.
"He fled to the north from the residence through the woods," said Michael Roeder, an investigator for the Pocola Police Department.
"We've had assistance from the sheriff's office as well as [Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations] looking for him today. Right now, we're just asking for everybody to keep their doors locked."
Asher is wanted in the death of Amanda Miller, who was found on Fuller Road near the J.L. Swink Municipal Park in Pocola, Bevil said. Investigators believe an argument inside a nearby home escalated, leading to Asher stabbing the woman to death.
Authorities believe he is somewhere in or near a field on the other side of the park, near where the body was found.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol began investigating a "deceased woman" near a park in Pocola about 8:30 a.m., and schools were put on lockdown as a precaution, according to the Capt. Troy German with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Bevil said there just happened to be extra law enforcement in the area today to attend training exercises.
Fuller Avenue in Pocola has a county deputy blocking the street. A man in street clothes with a rifle was guarding the entrance to the park.
Deputies were searching the fields on either side of the park, particularly the field south of Fuller Avenue. Deputies brought in all-terrain vehicles to aid in the search, according to a 5NEWS reporter at the scene.
Deputies were also searching the Sunset Estates neighborhood across from Swink Park at Chase Lane and South Pocola Boulevard (Highway 112).
Jeff Fishel, director of the LeFlore County EMS, confirmed that there was one fatality. He said the woman was in the street when medics found her.
Capt. Philip Pevehouse with the Sebastian County Sheriff's Office in Arkansas said Sebastian County deputies are monitoring the border to make sure Asher doesn't cross into Arkansas.