Kansas jail escapees captured in Oklahoma; Pursuit of fugitives in stolen pickup ends at bridge where Sheriff met them from opposite direction

Joplin News First

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. — Sources tell us this afternoon the two jail escapees from Cherokee County jail at Columbus are now in custody in Oklahoma.

Sheriff David Groves tells us, “I can confirm they are both in custody. They were armed at the time of arrest. Seriously can’t commend strongly enough the excellent, non-stop, around the clock work put in by all law enforcement involved.”

Mark Gerald Hopkins II and Michael Wayne Martsolf were taken into custody after a short pursuit. They had escaped the jail in southeast Kansas at 11:00 p.m. Monday night.

Sheriff David Dean states, “Today the US Marshall’s advised that they received a cell phone ping, that may be associated with the escapees, south of Wyandotte. While we all were getting together to try and come up with a plan our dispatch received a call of a car jacking south of Wyandotte, in the area where the cell phone ping was at. The victim advised the suspects were two males and one was armed. Law enforcement officers began looking for the vehicle and a Wyandotte Nation Officer located it on South Cayuga road traveling north toward highway 60. Another Wyandotte Nation officer began traveling behind the first and the suspects would not stop. The Undersheriff and I began traveling south on Cayuga road from 60 with a Miami PD Detective and an Eastern Shawnee Officer traveling behind us. We met the suspects on a bridge and they turned away from my truck and got stuck on the side of the bridge. We were then able to take both into custody. A shotgun was found on the seat of the truck. The following agencies did an outstanding job today: Ottawa County Sheriffs Office, Wyandotte Nation, Eastern Shawnee, Miami PD, US Marshals, Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Both escapees are now back in Cherokee County.”

Friday afternoon information developed the two had stolen a pickup at gunpoint near Wyandotte from a couple. Police located the pickup and were pursuing the stolen truck north on Cayuga Road in Ottawa County, Oklahoma. Sheriff David Dean and Undersheriff Rocky Ferdig were traveling south on Cayuga Road and met them at the bridge. It ended there.

Thursday morning in Kansas, Sheriff David Groves office released the following media release regarding the arrest of an accomplice. .

A Weir woman has been taken into custody on allegations of Conspiracy to Commit Aggravated Escape (2 counts), Felony Aiding a Fugitive (2 counts), and Obstructing Justice as part ongoing investigation into the Monday night escape of Mark Hopkins and Michael Martsolf from the Cherokee County Kansas Jail.

Cherokee County Detectives arrested 26 year-old Tasha (Young) Taylor on Thursday morning, following the execution of a search warrant at her home.

Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Kansas Highway Patrol, Tri-State Major Case Squad and federal authorities continue to search for 30 year-old Hopkins, who was being held on murder charges, and 34 year-old Martsolf, who was being held on felony drug charges.  Both suspects now face additional charges of Aggravated Escape from Custody.

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