A fugitive with a Nazi swastika tattoo was captured early today after an intense six-day manhunt in a popular national forest area in western North Carolina.
But now authorities have a new mystery: What happened to the owner of a pickup truck stolen by fugitive Phillip Michael Stroup, II?
Thomas Bryson, 68, of Mills River, North Carolina, hasn’t been seen since he was kidnapped Wednesday morning in an apparent car-jacking, according to various media reports.
McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene told reporters said that Stroupe was driving Bryson’s truck shortly before his arrest early Thursday in McDowell County, North Carolina.
After a Yancey County deputy spotted the stolen pickup, Stroupe sped off on Interstate 80 and US Highway 70W. He was captured by deputies after a foot chase through a tomato field, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
It wasn’t immediately disclosed whether Stroupe, who has a lengthy, violent criminal record, was armed at the time of his arrest. He stole a man’s mountain bike after fleeing from officers last weekend, triggering the massive manhunt that closed campgrounds and a roadway in the Pisgah National Forest for days.
The fugitive’s Facebook page shows him displaying a swastika tattooed on his stomach with the words “One Nation.” Authorities haven’t said if Stroupe is affiliated with any specific hate group, but he may have developed ties to white supremacy gangs while serving prison time.