Manhunt continues for Bethel

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 8, 2003

The search continues for a Georgiana resident who was the subject of a traffic stop by the River Falls Police Department Wednesday, a stop that eventually evolved into a foot chase and a search of an Andalusia residence conducted by River Falls Police Chief Jeff Holland and other law enforcement agencies in Covington County.

Holland said Spencer Bethel, a black male in his mid-30s, had not been located as of Thursday morning, although he added that he has received leads indicating that Bethel may be back in Georgiana.

"There is absolutely nothing happening," said Holland. "We have not found (Bethel) as of yet."

Holland made a traffic stop on Bethel in River Falls Wednesday and indicated that Bethel, driving a Honda, was traveling around 75 miles per hour in a 30 mile-per-hour zone.

He said that Bethel may now be driving a light blue Corvette, possibly with a Butler County tag.

During the stop, Bethel was able to flee and a foot chase ensued across a wooded area off U.S. Highway 84 near the railroad tracks.

Later in the morning Holland received a lead that Bethel had been seen at a residence on Railroad Avenue, and this led to a search conducted by Holland, as well as officials with the Covington County Sheriff's Department, Andalusia Police Department, Red Level Police Department, Covington County 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force, Gantt Police Department, Covington County K-9 officers and Alabama State Troopers.

The search failed to lead to the discovery of Bethel, although Holland said his source told him that they had not seen Bethel leave the house.

Holland said anybody who is possibly harboring Bethel is subject to possible arrest for aiding and abetting a fugitive.

He added that he is appreciative of all the agencies who assisted him in Wednesday's pursuit of Bethel, who was last seen wearing a blue Tennessee Titans jersey.

Holland said in addition to the charges his department will likely issue for Bethel, other felony charges are also likely forthcoming.

For anyone with any information regarding information about Bethel, they should contact the Andalusia Police Department at 222-1155, the Covington County Sheriff's Department at 428-2642 or the River Falls Police Department at 427-2630.