Armed man hiding in NE TN mountains


July 5, 2005, 06:39 PM
Just checked and saw that no one had posted anything about this that I could find. FYI and BOLO....

by Laurie Patton, KY3 News
SPRINGFIELD -- Police around Flag Pond, Tenn., think they're closing in on a man wanted for questioning about the murder of a woman from Springfield. They believe Darrell Tipton is armed and hiding in the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee or North Carolina.Springfield police call Tipton a "person of interest" in the murder investigation of 39-year-old Cindy Ann Deckard Coop-Trent. Someone stabbed the mother of three in her rented home at 1021 E. Blaine St., likely on June 18 or 19. Her body was found on June 20.

Unicoi County, Tenn., Sheriff Kent Harris says Tipton is wanted in that area for several crimes, including rape and assault. He's also wanted for questioning about three murders in Florida. After being tipped off by a friend of Tipton's, officers started tracking him in an area where he was last seen.

Harris believes Tipton broke into a home near Interstate 26 and stole a shotgun, ammunition and jewelry. He thinks Tipton broke into a second home where he took food and what Harris calls survival supplies.

For safety reasons, authorities have closed public scenic mountain overlooks with thick wooded walking trails and lookouts. Dogs are now a part of the search as well as helicopters equipped with thermal imaging devices. Officers have been stopping and searching cars and warning drivers to watch for Tipton.

Police believe Tipton may be living in abandoned cabins. They found a tarp he left behind.

Tipton received some help from some friends in the Flag Pond area who did not know he is a fugitive. He's from Erwin, Tenn., about 15 miles north of Flag Pond. Police think, at one point, they were 10 minutes behind him. They believe he's been in the area for about a week.

In Springfield, Tipton only faces a felony charge of unlawful use of a weapon, filed June 23, but Springfield police believe he at least knows something about the murder of Coop-Trent.

"We've got to all make it through this, hope and pray he's caught," said Jeffrey Coop of Springfield, a son of Coop-Trent.

Coop-Trent's family says the search for Tipton has brought them new hope. Jeffrey Coop and her brother, Danny Deckard, believe Tipton killed her.

"There's no reason in the world this should have happened," said Coop.

Coop says his mom loved to drag race and could beat most guys when it came to working on cars. He says Coop-Trent was fighting her way out of a drug addiction and working to regain custody of her youngest sons.

"Everybody loved my mom," he said. "My mom loved everybody."

Deckard says he just wants police to find the man he thinks is responsible for his sister's murder. He says Tipton has hurt too may people and too many families, counting the crimes in Tennessee and Florida.

"I feel sorry for their families too," said Deckard.

Deckard Coop-Trent's family hopes every piece brings them one step closer to catching Tipton.

"I just miss my mom. I just miss my mom and I just want him to be caught," said Coop. "he had no reason to do it."

If you enjoyed reading about "Armed man hiding in NE TN mountains" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 5, 2005, 06:50 PM
Hope they find him.

July 6, 2005, 11:27 PM
Hope they string him up by his balls.

Ala Dan
July 7, 2005, 06:59 AM
Its a damn shame folk's of Tiptons likes are walking the face of the earth,
and its too bad that some LEO (or law abiding citizen) hasn't put a halt
to his crimes. :( Maybe they will find him soon? :D

July 7, 2005, 07:40 AM
For what it's worth, the local news covered this a few days ago. They mentioned the locals taking "sensible precautions" -- including wearing their pistols about the homestead.

I love the south. :)

July 7, 2005, 11:04 AM
If he's in the Smokies along the NC/TN border, he'll be tough to find. And yeah, in that area, just about everyone has guns around. I had a friend who lived up on a mountain near Canton, NC (15 miles west of Asheville). When I went to see him he told me of the mountain lion his brother had shot the day before that had been skulking around their house. He also had a bobcat in a freezer, ready to go to the taxidermist.

If you enjoyed reading about "Armed man hiding in NE TN mountains" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!