Kidnapping suspect may have been seen in Billings

2012-12-05T00:05:00Z 2012-12-05T22:09:10Z Kidnapping suspect may have been seen in BillingsGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
December 05, 2012 12:05 am  • 

UPDATE: Billings Police Chief Rich St. John said Mitchell Lee Walck has been located and arrested in North Dakota.

Billings police officers were on the lookout early Wednesday for a transient believed to have shot at an Idaho trooper over the weekend before forcing a woman into a vehicle at gunpoint.

A possible sighting of the suspect, Mitchell Lee Walck, was reported Tuesday evening in Billings.

Billings police Sgt. Matt Brewer said staff at the Montana Rescue Mission called police after a man fitting the description of Walck, 57, came into the mission at about 5 p.m. for dinner.

He is described as a white male, 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighing 175 pounds. A press release said he has graying black hair and brown eyes. Walck was last seen wearing light jeans and a brown jacket.

When police arrived at the mission, the man had already left, Brewer said.

Brewer said the department had broadcast an attempt-to-locate for the man.

"It is possible he is in our area, so we are warning our officers to stay diligent in looking," Brewer said. "It's neither confirmed or denied."

Kootenai County Sheriff's Lt. Stu Miller said there were indications at the woman's house that Walck shaved his facial hair and the investigation revealed he may have dyed his hair black.

Capt. Greg Mclean, with the Post Falls Police Department in Idaho said in a news release that Walck, who also goes by the name Mark Mackenzie, is a transient known to frequent churches in an attempt to find aid.

Law enforcement considers Walck armed and dangerous.

Officials tried to pull over a pickup truck late Saturday near Spirit Lake, Idaho, and it fled. Authorities chased the truck about 30 minutes before calling off the pursuit.

A short time later, another agency spotted the truck and chased it until the driver, believed to be Walck, stopped the vehicle near the town of Rathdrum and ran away.

As he ran, he fired a handgun at an Idaho State Police trooper, the release states. Nobody was struck or injured and a 12-hour search, including with a helicopter, of the area did not yield any results.

Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson said in the release that his office received a call on Sunday evening from a woman who said her sister reported she'd been kidnapped at gunpoint by Walck after he fired at the trooper.

The kidnapping victim was released at Glendive.

The sheriff's office obtained a $1 million arrest warrant accusing Walck of kidnapping. The FBI said a reward of up to $20,000 is being offered for his arrest.

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