Manhunt for escaped Florida inmates after NC arrest

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. – A multi-state manhunt continues in the search for two escaped inmates from Florida after a third fugitive was arrested in Rowan County earlier this week. 

According to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, deputies received a tip early Monday that one of the fugitives from an escape in Wakulla County, Florida was at a home in Rockwell. Deputies responded to the home and took Casey Brandon Martina into custody. 

Investigators also found a stolen Jeep Cherokee with Virginia license plates at the home. Deputies determined that before Martina’s arrest, a 2007 Pacifica RV was stolen from the Peeler Road area in Rowan County, and that all three escaped fugitives were involved in the theft. 

Meanwhile, the fugitives have also been connected to the theft of an ATM from a gas station in Burke County earlier this week. 

According to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the Shell station on Old NC 10 around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday for a stolen ATM. Deputies recovered a heavy-duty logging chain and obtained surveillance video of the incident. 

The remaining fugitives are Donald James Cotterman and Joel Teraill Cooper. They were last together with Martina in Statesville before his arrest. Police say both men are considered armed and dangerous and believe they are armed with an AR-15 and .22 caliber rifle. 

The ATM was later found by authorities along I-40 in McDowell County near exit 83 in Marion. Surveillance video showed the suspects driving the same four-door white work truck involved in the ATM theft behind the business before leaving a few minutes later. 

Investigators said the suspects took the vehicle and out state and investigators in Virginia continue to search for the RV. All three fugitives have been linked to evidence of several crimes in Georgia, Virginia and Rowan County. 

Anyone with information about the location of both men is asked to call Rowan County authorities at 704-216-8687 or you can call Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.
 

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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