Search Continues Saturday Night for Fincher & Hickson

August 24, 2008
by: 
Dwayne Page
THP Officers Survey the Scene Near Abandoned Stolen Car
Sheriff Patrick Ray Sets up Command Post

The search continued into the night Saturday for two men wanted by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

Sheriff Patrick Ray told WJLE Saturday night that a THP helicopter with a heat seeking device was used in the search and some officers on the ground had hand held heat seekers. Roads in the area were monitored closely by law enforcement and officers checked many vehicles as they passed through, looking for the two men. Officers were concerned that the men, under cover of darkness, might emerge from hiding and try to steal a car to make a getaway. At last report, law enforcement had no reports of any car thefts in the area.

Throughout the day Saturday, officers often went door to door, checking with residents in the search zone to see if they had seen or heard anything of the two men. THP helicopters conducted aerial searches. Central Dispatch employed reverse 911 calling upon request of the THP and DeKalb County Sheriff's Department to alert residents in the area. Tracking dogs were brought in from the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Mount Juliet and Cookeville City Police Departments K-9 units, as well as the Bledsoe County Correctional Institution.

Among the departments involved in the search are the Tennessee Highway Patrol, who have used two dozen state troopers including K-9 teams and members of Special Operations, the THP Criminal Investigation Division, the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department, which has set up a command post on site, the White, Warren, and Smith County Sheriff's Departments, the Alexandria Police Department, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Sheriff Ray says the search will continue Sunday. It's being conducted generally in the areas of Temperance Hall, Dale Ridge, Lower Helton, Walker Creek, Hayes Ridge, Lancaster, Brush Creek, and Alexandria.

The two suspects were involved in a pursuit Saturday morning and fled on foot after crashing the stolen vehicle they were riding in. These are believed to be the same suspects who were involved in a separate pursuit Thursday in White County.

Kirk Douglas Fincher and Nicklas Hickson allegedly stole a gold 1997 Toyota Avalon Thursday from a home in White County. A Tennessee State Trooper spotted the vehicle as it was traveling westbound on Interstate 40 near mile marker 268 at approximately 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

After back-up arrived, Troopers attempted to stop the vehicle. Officers pursued the Avalon from I-40 to Highway 53 South and then to Highway 264 where the suspects wrecked the vehicle near mile marker 4, only a few yards from the Walker Creek Bridge.

The two men, believed to be Fincher and Hickson, fled on foot. Officers found a loaded 9 millimeter pistol in the stolen car.

On Thursday, Fincher, a convicted felon from Kansas City, Missouri, was one of three occupants in a 2002 Black Ford pick-up truck who lost control and crashed during a pursuit on Old Kentucky Road in White County. At approximately 8:00 a.m., Thursday morning, Trooper Michael Loftis observed the Ford pick-up on Interstate 40 at mile marker 287 in Putnam County. Trooper Loftis attempted to stop the truck for following another vehicle too closely, and that is when the pursuit began.

Trooper Loftis followed the vehicle on Highway 111 South to Old Kentucky Road before the suspects crashed near the airport area. Authorities believe Fincher later broke into a White County home and stole the Toyota Avalon.

A 17-year-old occupant of the vehicle is in custody. He was spotted near a church by local residents and arrested at approximately 4:20 p.m., Thursday, by a White County Sheriff's deputy and Trooper Loftis.

Fincher was released from a Missouri prison in January 2008, after serving a 17-year sentence for homicide of a police officer. There is no description of Hickson at this time.

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