Still no sign of wanted man after late Friday night search
BATON ROUGE- A convicted felon continued his run from the law late Friday as a slew of authorities trailed him again overnight.
Dennis Shampine has been eluding authorities since Tuesday when the first manhunt to find him, this one in Walker, put schools on lockdown after lunch. He was able to lose the trail of police who were following him.
"I'm concerned," said a woman who asked not to be identified Friday evening shortly before midnight. She was waiting to be allowed back down her street since deputies set up a blockade and would not let her through until they were sure Shampine was not around.
Friday, and for a brief time early Saturday morning, deputies were searching with dogs and a helicopter in an area off Riverside Park Drive near the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area and the point where the Amite and Comite rivers meet.
Twenty-four hours earlier an intial search of the area was called off. Thursday, a search crew made up of various area law enforcement agenices searched for 14 hours the Comite and Amite banks after Shampine was spotted walking near the Amite River in Livingston Parish.
During Thursday's search, multiple helicopters and dogs trailed Shampine's path that, by the end of Thursday, centered around the Frenchtown Road Conservation Area. But, the manhunt was called off shortly before midnight Thursday and a limited amount of resources remained in the area to keep watch during the day Friday.
"Somebody knows, whether it be a family member or friend, he's getting assistance from somewhere," Walker Police spokesman Capt. John Sharp said Friday.
East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's deputies returned with a search team late Friday after a woman reported someone was trying to get in her house. The woman, who was not identified, said told authorities she thought it was her boyfriend but upon further investigation found it was not and believed it was the man who was on the run from law enforcement. When she yelled at him, he ran, she told deputies.
After about two hours, deputies once again called off the search when they could not locate Shampine. Midnight struck, Saturday morning arrived and Shampine remained a free man.
"We've got a few bats," the woman who had to wait until the search was over to be allowed home said before she got in her car and drove down the street. She added she and her boyfriend were not going to be scared off but were going to protect themselves.
She said she noticed things in odd places around her yard earlier in the day; a ladder was moved and candy wrappers were found near her house. She was convinced Shampine had been on her property.
Shampine is considered dangerous, authorities said. He has charges of battery, robbery and is a sex offender who has failed to register. Police said he beat someone into a coma.
Anyone who may see him is asked to call 911.
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