Officials in neighboring Dallas County are searching for an escaped Arkansas inmate today, and officials in Lebanon are also warning residents to take precautions.
According to information from the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office, Derrick Estell, 33, and his girlfriend Tamara Upshaw, 25, remain on the run today after Estell escaped from jail in Garland County, Ark. a week ago, allegedly with the help of Estell’s mother, who is jailed in Arkansas. Officials received information late Friday that the couple could be in the rural Buffalo area or Long Lane area along the Niangua River.
While the hunt is going on in Dallas County, Lebanon Police Chief Randy Halstead said that local residents should keep their guard up as well.
Halstead reminded citizens to keep their car and home doors locked and to contact law enforcement if they see any suspicious activity.
“If they have any information or know the location of these individuals, they should contact law enforcement right away,” Halstead said.
Estell and Upshaw are suspects in three crimes that occurred Sunday in the rural Dallas County area along the Niangua River. Officials in Dallas County report that a 22-caliber rifle, a large amount of ammunition and a 2006 Dodge Ram pickup truck were taken from the search area. The truck is described as a 4-door with damage to the side front fender near the headlight and to the tailgate. The truck also has an aluminum diamond plate tool box. The rifle is described as having a wood grain, thumbhole stock and bull barrel.
Just because the manhunt is taking place in Dallas County does not mean the suspects are contained to that area.
“Dallas County’s not that far away, especially if they are in possession of a stolen vehicle, they could be outside of the Buffalo/Long Lane area and be in our area,” Halstead said, adding that the Lebanon Police Department has received no reports of anyone fitting the description of Estell and Upshaw.
Estell was facing 26 charges in Arkansas, ranging from aggravated robbery, breaking and entry, burglary, fleeing and several other charges. Surveillance video from the Arkansas jail shows Estell jumping through a window as a jailer unsuccessfully tries to apprehend him.
Estell is described as 6 feet tall, 165 pounds, brown hair or bald, with brown eyes. Upshaw is described as 5 feet, 1 inch tall, brown hair and green eyes.
Estell is considered armed and extremely dangerous. Officials are asking anyone who comes in contact with the pair to call 911 or the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office at 417-345-2441.
The Daily Record attempted to contact Dallas County Sheriff Mike Rackley for more information today, but he was unavailable for comment. The person who answered the phone at the department today said there is no new information to report.