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http://www.poconorecord.com/news/201706 … -co-and-ny
By Daniel Axelrod, The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. (TNS)
Posted Jun 25, 2017 at 9:42 PM
Updated Jun 25, 2017 at 10:56 PM
Suspects were spotted at the Wal-Mart in Westfall Township, Pike County, Pa.
BLOOMINGBURG â€” State police spent Saturday searching the Bloomingburg area after two of Tennesseeâ€™s 10 most-wanted fugitives broke into a manâ€™s home and terrorized him in the wee morning hours, the victim and his neighbors said.
Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Saturday, Jarret Cole â€œShroom Heitmann, 24, and Makayla Danielle Stilwell, 22, invaded the home of Robert Grumet, 66, of 11 Altamont Road.
Itâ€™s not clear how long they were in the residence or how Grumet sustained a head wound that required stitches. Heâ€™s being held for observation overnight in a local hospital.
Heitmann and Stilwell are each wanted by Tennessee authorities for attempted second-degree murder, reckless endangerment, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery.
New York and Tennessee police say the pair is armed and extremely dangerous.
New York State Police sent out multiple emergency cell phone alerts across Ulster and Sullivan counties Saturday to warn residents to lock their doors and remain inside.
State police declined to say whether they know why the fugitives are in New York or where they might be now.
â€œWeâ€™re following leads as they come in, but with something like this we get a lot of them, said state police Sgt. T.J. Mannix, who spoke outside the Troop F offices in Wurtsboro late Saturday afternoon. â€œItâ€™s our top priority to find them because they are very dangerous. You have to be vigilant. If you see something, let us know.
Grumet briefly confirmed the basic details of the home invasion, after he was reached by cell phone at a local hospital and informed of his neighborsâ€™ worries about him. He asked that the hospital not be named.
â€œIâ€™m touched by the kind things that my neighbors are saying, and their concern, and Iâ€™m looking forward to getting past this, said Grumet, a retired anthropologist and a former National Park Service archaeologist who studied American Indians.
Grumet, his neighbor Mark Antonoff, 68, and another neighbor, who asked to remain unnamed for fear of the suspects, provided details to help explain what happened.
The home invasion occurred on the private land of the Lake Altamont Association â€” a close-knit community of a dozen homes about a mile and a half from the Eagleâ€™s Nest restaurant.
Between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m., just before the break-in, neighbors spotted a car on the street beside the home of Bill and Debra Beakes, who own Beakes Travel Service in Middletown.
Grumetâ€™s neighbors couldnâ€™t see the vehicleâ€™s make and model in the dark, but they assumed its occupants were newspaper delivery people or teenagers making out because the spring and early summer are prom and graduation seasons.
Now, they think Heitmann and Stilwell were inside the vehicle.
Antonoff said that around that time he was awakened by what he thinks was a knock on his front door, which may have come from the fugitives. But after Debbie Beakes turned on a light in her home, the suspects apparently drove away and invaded Grumetâ€™s home.
â€œAfter (the incident), I thought, â€™Wow, they couldâ€™ve picked my house, said Antonoff, who described Grumet as a soft-spoken gentleman and a scholar who lives alone. â€œIt couldâ€™ve been any one of us in the hospital yesterday.
Grumetâ€™s neighbors said he owns multiple guns, which they said the fugitives took. Asked about that, and whether Heitmann and Stilwell may have taken anything else, Grumet said, â€œIâ€™d really rather not say.
He also declined to explain how he was injured, but he expects to be released from the hospital Sunday, and heâ€™ll be staying with friends until his house is cleaned up.
After the home invasion, troopers knocked on doors to warn locals and a state police helicopter combed the area from at least roughly 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
â€œThis is such a private area, said Brittney Ferrier, 28, who lives on nearby Gould Lake Road. â€œItâ€™s so secluded. You wouldnâ€™t think this would happen here.
Heitmann and Stilwell, who are believed to be dating, are accused of abducting an unidentified Mount Carmel, Tenn., woman from her home on Tuesday, according to Tennessee authorities and the Times-News of Kingsport, Tenn.
The fugitives allegedly drove the woman to the Blountville, Tenn., mobile home of the kidnap victimâ€™s friend, Dustin Bishop, 34, and forced her to knock on his door at gunpoint.
When Bishop answered, Heitmann and Stilwell are accused of dragging him outside, shooting him in the chest and fleeing, while leaving the kidnap victim behind. Bishop was hospitalized, but he survived.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of each suspect. New Yorkers with tips should call the state police in Middletown at 845-344-5300.
Police describe Heitmann as 6â€²1â€³, 165 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes, while Stilwell is 5â€²9â€³, 145 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes.
State police confirmed Sunday that the search for the two fugitives from Tennessee is still underway.
The Eastern Pike Regional Police Department received information Saturday that the two were at the Wal-Mart in Westfall Township, Pike County, Pennsylvania, police said. Searches conducted with the Port Jervis Police Department and Pennsylvania state police, turned up â€œno evidence that Heitmann or Stilwell were in that area, according to a press release from Eastern Pike Regional.
However, New York State Police reported Sunday afternoon that the last verified sighting was at that Wal-Mart around 7:30 a.m. Saturday.
Amanda Spadaro, The Times Herald-Record, Middletown, N.Y. (TNS) contributed to this report.
Last edited by sschkaak (Jun-27-2017 08:47:am)
I wonder how they know who the assailants are? I doubt they identified themselves to Mr. Grumet. Nevertheless, this is awful.