Gasconade County burglary suspects flee from private citizen, 3 adults, 2 young children found after K-9 search near Belle

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 4/15/20

Osage County deputies on April 8 dealt with an incident that began in Gasconade County and ended in the woods near CR 725 north of Belle with the arrest of two adults, who had fled with their two …

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Gasconade County burglary suspects flee from private citizen, 3 adults, 2 young children found after K-9 search near Belle

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Osage County deputies on April 8 dealt with an incident that began in Gasconade County and ended in the woods near CR 725 north of Belle with the arrest of two adults, who had fled with their two juvenile children from a burglary near Owensville.

An unnamed man followed the car into Osage County after the occupants had burglarized his uncle’s Route P property north of Owensville. The fleeing vehicle drove without lights in an effort to elude pursuit, and then tried to jump a ditch to get away, which is when the suspects exited the vehicle and fled on foot.

Cpl. Richard Jarvis and Deputy Christian Wolfe coordinated the chase, which began at 4 a.m., after they were dispatched to the intersection of CRs 724 and 725 off of Route D north of Belle.

Wolfe had already located and detained a woman identified as Aquarius Humphrey, 33, of Steelville, who was hiding in a cattle trailer approximately a quarter-mile from the rented vehicle the suspects had driven into the ditch. Humphrey told authorities that Timothy A. Martin, 29, of Cherryville, and Rachel R. Farmer, 27, of Steelville, had two children, ages 5 and 16 months, with them on the run.

A free-air sniff by K-9 Zed led to an alert, which resulted in a probable cause search of the vehicle. Found inside were a clear smoking device containing a white powder that field-tested positive for meth, four stolen firearms, a stolen BB gun, and two stolen chainsaws.

Jarvis removed a baby blanket from the vehicle and after giving Zed a chance to acquire the scent, Jarvis and Lt. Justin Carnes followed the dog on a track.

Zed first led them to the cattle trailer in which Humphrey was found, and then to a nearby field, where Farmer was located hiding in a low spot. She was taken into custody and advised of her rights, after which she told deputies that Martin was her fiancé, and had run into the adjacent woods with their two children.

Once both women were secured in separate vehicles, Capt. Travis Shaffer joined the team and began a third search on the opposite side of CR 725 with Carnes and Jarvis.

Approximately 75 yards into the track, Jarvis noted he found a small child’s footprint that appeared fresh. At this time, a passerby on CR 724 called 911 and advised they had seen a white male walking with two small children.

With Deputy Greg Birch now part of the search, the quartet found Martin and the two children about three miles from the site of the vehicle crash.

Jarvis in his probable cause statement said he observed that neither child was wearing shoes. The 16-month-old child was wearing a severely soiled diaper with no pants or shirt. What appeared to be diaper rash was later confirmed. Martin told Jarvis the 5-year-old child had walked most of the three miles while the baby was carried.

At the time Martin and the children were located, at 9 a.m., the search had been ongoing for about five hours. Martin told Jarvis that the children had last eaten or had a drink 12 or 13 hours before the arrest. The children were provided something to eat and drink by Birch.

The Division of Family Services was contacted, and took the children into temporary custody, and then the kids were placed in the custody of family members.

During an interview at the jail, Humphrey was asked if she believed the children were put in danger during the course of the incident. She strongly agreed with that assessment, adding that she herself was in fear for her life.

Farmer also agreed that the children were in jeopardy, and according to Jarvis, felt, “Strongly enough about it that she stated she did not want to lose her children again.”

Farmer told deputies that she had lost custody of her children to DFS in the past for child endangerment.

The two women admitted to having used meth twice the previous evening, and Martin had also used the drug before driving the vehicle which contained the two children. Jarvis noted that this shows that all three adults were under the influence of meth while with the children. Humphrey, Farmer and Martin were taken to the Osage County Jail and place on a 24-hour hold pending filing of formal charges.

“Twice in the middle of the night…”

Gasconade County Sheriff Mark A. Williams said Tuesday the victim, an 80-year-old man from the 3000 block of Route P north of Owensville, was targeted twice on consecutive nights by the burglars.

On April 7, sheriff’s deputy Ryan Limberg took a report of a first-degree burglary where persons unknown had entered the man’s home while he was there and had stolen several items, including a shotgun and two crossbows.  

At 3:19 a.m. the following morning, Limberg was once again called to the same man’s home for another first-degree burglary incident.

“Again, person(s) unknown had entered the victim’s home and this time stole a Marlin .22 caliber rifle along with the keys to the victim’s truck,” according to a report from Williams. “Later, a relative of the victim notified authorities that while en route to this residence he had spotted what he believed to be the suspect vehicle and was now following the suspect vehicle in Osage County. The vehicle later stopped and the occupants fled on foot.”

Williams said in all his years in law enforcement, he could not recall an incident were the same person was burglarized on consecutive days while they were in their home.  

“Twice in the middle of the night when he was home,” said Williams in disbelief. “Osage County (sheriff’s deputies) played a huge role in the case. They caught the suspects. They did all the interviews. Our people followed up with the inventory of the stolen items and processed the vehicle.”

Williams said Osage deputies and the Missouri State Highway Patrol played a “huge part” in making the arrests.

During a search of the suspect’s vehicle, a white 2019 Nissan Sentra, which had been rented from EAN Holdings, LLC, deputies located two Stihl chainsaws, a Winchester 30-30 caliber rifle, a Marlin .22 caliber rifle, a Mauser Model 1891 rifle, a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun, a Daisy .177 caliber BB gun, along with drug paraphernalia.

Williams said they believe a fourth person, a male, was also involved but that individual could not be located.

“The investigation continues and deputies expect to seek formal charges in the very near future,” said Williams. “The Gasconade County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Osage County Sheriff’s Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for their outstanding service and assistance.”

(With reporting by Dave Marner of the Gasconade County Republican’s staff).  

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