Man Wanted For Tulsa Rape Arrested In Ohio
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa rape suspect is in jail in Ohio, after being on the run for nearly two years.
After 19 months, Ryan Mitchell was tracked down in Akron, Ohio, by the U.S. Marshal’s Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force.
This fugitive investigation took hundreds of hours, involving research, surveillance, and following up on tips.
“It may not be today, it might not be tomorrow, this year, or even next year, but our unit takes pride, when we start a case, we finish it,” said Tulsa Police Officer Josh Ledbetter.
Ledbetter has been on Tulsa’s fugitive squad for the past five years and, as part of the Northern Oklahoma Violent Crimes Task Force, they track down hundreds of wanted suspects every year. This one, however, took longer than any other case Ledbetter has worked, as you can tell by his worn-out case file.
“You can see the scribbles, the tag numbers, names, social security numbers,” he said.
Mitchell is accused of raping and beating a woman he knew in February of 2017. Ledbetter says he missed Mitchell by mere minutes after the warrant was issued and he has spent months searching databases, talking to Mitchell’s family and friends, even sitting outside an apartment for days. He says he received four Crime Stoppers tips – three were a bust, but the last one paid off.
“This stuff matters to us,” said Ledbetter.
He says the longer somebody is on the run, the harder it is to find them, and finally catching them is rewarding.
“Hopefully, the victim can get her day in court and the suspect, as well,” stated Ledbetter. “He’s not guilty, it’s a warrant, but both can have their day in court.”
Police say when someone calls in a tip, the person can stay anonymous and the calls really do make a difference and help them to get violent suspects off the streets.
Mitchell is awaiting extradition back to Tulsa.