|Fugitive captured after massive manhunt
Loudon County Sheriff's Department has been searching for Christopher Ellis for more than a week. Sunday afternoon, a massive search which included law enforcement from several counties cornered the fugitive and took him into custody.
Ellis was found sleeping in a bed at a Loudon County house he had just allegedly robbed. Ellis is wanted in Kentucky for a bank robbery. Loudon County authorities say he kidnapped an Atlanta man from his home on October 31 and brought him to East Tennessee. Since then, Ellis is accused of a home invasion in Loudon County where he tied up the parents of a Loudon County deputy and robbed them. Deputies say he got away with several firearms.
Investigators found a vehicle Ellis stole from the couple on Friday. Officers from Blount, Monroe, Knox, Roane and Loudon County Sheriff's Departments, along with Maryville, Clinton, and Lenoir City Police joined the search. FBI and TWRA agents also started on the massive manhunt Sunday morning. At around 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon the man they considered armed and dangerous was in custody.
In a press conference it was released that he was asleep in a bed at a home he broke into. Tips from residents, and local criminal activity led authorities to believe Ellis was still in the area. A plane, helicopter, boats, K-9s, and ATVs were used to search for Christopher Ellis. "We believe he does have a propensity for violence, now we know he's armed so we are definitely treating this extremely seriously," said Michael Maclean with the FBI. Around 150 officers with 10 different local, state and federal agencies came together to search South Loudon County around Rarity Bay, and Bat Creek Road where a car Ellis had stolen was found Friday.
"We got some information yesterday that a few boats had been rummaged through in the Rarity Bay community, some things taken; survival equipment, flashlights, food, things of that nature," said Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider. The land surrounding Rarity Bay was divided up into grids and teams of searchers set out about 8 o'clock this morning on foot, looking for any signs of Ellis. Officers checked cars moving through the area along highway 72.
Residents in the area say the warnings of a fugitive near their homes had them worried. "The car was found pretty close to our house, and it's just a little scary, you know. We've been keeping all the lights on, keeping the doors locked that kind of stuff," says Mike Holloway who lives in the area. Loudon County deputies and K-9's found Ellis' camp just 100 feet from the back door of a home in the Rarity Bay subdivision shortly before his capture.