The reward for the capture of Kirby Wallace has increased to $20,000 as the manhunt entered its sixth day in Montgomery and Stewart counties.
Officials provided an update to the public Thursday morning, saying they have the area covered but said the difficult terrain has been taxing on resources. They believe Wallace is confined to a small, wooded area.
The heat has also created difficulties for crews searching. Several have been treated for heat-related issues and at least one person was transported. One terrain-related injury was also reported.
This morning alone, the Montgomery County 9-1-1 line had received 400 tips -- and they're following up on each one.
— TBI (@TBInvestigation) October 4, 2018
Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett assured residents that they would not rest until Wallace is captured, saying the suspected killer is a "walking crime in progress."
Durrett said the county has added $10,000 to the reward being offered, bringing the total to $17,500. It increased to $20,000 Thursday afternoon after five anonymous donations of $500 were made.
Several agencies sent people to help in the search for Wallace. Some of them included: Greenbrier Police, La Vergne Police, Gibson County deputies and even the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. The Metro Nashville Police Department sent their helicopter to aid in the aerial search.
The cover of darkness did not stop the search Wednesday night. While several crews are patrolling the ground, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is still patrolling from the skies.
Crews have been searching an area of Poplar Springs Road after a credible sighting was reported around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.
A man told authorities that he heard his dogs barking and saw a man attempting to enter his porch. The man appeared to have a gun.
From there, he reportedly ran into the woods.
Hours later, a second, credible sighting was reported in the same area of Poplar Springs Road. However, it's not yet confirmed if that was Wallace.
The manhunt intensified Monday after Kirby Wallace allegedly shot and killed a homeowner during a carjacking on Welker Road.
Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson said even though Wallace hasn’t been positively identified as the suspect, they believe it’s him based on evidence collected at the scene.
Information For Parents/Residents:
In the midst of the search, the communities near the perimeter remain on edge, hoping investigators track Wallace down soon.
Several intersections are still closed and perimeters are up and people are being told to keep their homes locked.
As of Wednesday afternoon, officials said a few checkpoints were still in place throughout the Woodlawn and Indian Mound area.
Anyone living in the area will be allowed home, except for Poplar Springs Road between Welker Road and Cumberland City Road. It was closed until further notice.
If you know someone in that area, the TBI urges you to contact that person to make sure he or she is safe. If you don't hear back in a reasonable amount of time, call authorities.
This #KirbyWallace manhunt is getting real for folks. Got to appreciate the attitude in this store’s sign - “Until they catch the psycho, we are closing at dark and opening at light. Thanks.” pic.twitter.com/wsFXybKMxo
— Hannah McDonald (@Hannah_NC5) October 4, 2018
Woodlawn Elementary and Liberty Elementary will remain on lockout. Law enforcement will again be positioned at the two elementary schools. Bus routes north of the search area will be accompanied by law enforcement.
Residents have remained armed and ready to protect themselves. Understandably, they're on edge.
“I’m afraid there aren’t going to be too many people out hunting now because they’re afraid they’ll get shot," said Bobby Whittenburg.
Whittenburg lives next to the search perimeter off Poplar Springs Road. Helicopters circled overhead on Thursday.
“He’s escaped long enough," he said. "I should put a sign for him to come up this way we could even throw him in the graveyard up there. It just depends on whether he gets me first or I get him.”
Wallace is considered desperate and dangerous. If you live in this area and see something suspicious, call 9-1-1 or 1-800-TBI-FIND.
Where Is He?
Officials have zoned in on a particular area in the search perimeter. At one point Wednesday, they even believed they had him cornered.
However, the search has lasted nearly seven days, and still no capture.
Officials have asked anyone with a trail cam or hunting cabin in the area to let them know where it's located so that it can be thoroughly checked.
The area also includes several caves Wallace could be hiding in.
"A lot of people don't realize that where he is, it's a lot of uncharted area. I know a lot of people asking questions; they think they have him pinned down, [or ask] why is it taking so long?" said local Blake Atkins. "What a lot of people don't realize is how thick of an area it is out there. It would take somebody, especially like him, who's grown up in an area where it's nothing but woods, if you lived out there your whole life, it's easy to survive."
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