Multi-State Murder Suspect Captured in Arkansas After Intense Manhunt

MORRILTON, Ark. — Authorities announced the arrest of Stacy Lee Drake, a 50-year-old man connected to a series of grim murders spanning two states, after a prolonged manhunt that concluded in Morrilton, Arkansas this Thursday. The suspect was apprehensively linked to the fatal incidents which claimed lives in Oklahoma and Alabama, triggering a multi-agency investigation.

In Oklahoma, the alarming sequence began on a Tuesday evening when Sequoyah County deputies were summoned to a local business near State Highway 64 in Gans. Upon arriving at the scene, officers discovered a man and a woman deceased, presenting with injuries indicative of homicide. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation quickly got involved, naming Drake as a key person of interest.

The saga continued as Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane provided further insights, noting that an abandoned truck linked to Drake was located in Sallisaw the previous Saturday. It was later established that Drake allegedly executed the subsequent Oklahoma killings at the Gans business site shortly thereafter.

Adding to the grim tally, El Reno police implicated Drake in the murder of 56-year-old Phillip Emerson, which took place on June 14 at Emerson’s residence along Macomb Avenue. During their investigation, detectives noted the absence of Emerson’s vehicle, which they suspected had been stolen by Drake post-murder.

Drake also purportedly struck in a neighboring state, with Alabama authorities connecting him to the May 14 murder of Russell Thomas Andrews, a 62-year-old man found dead at an Alcoholics Anonymous building in Tuscaloosa. This incident marked another tragic point in the series of violent acts Drake is suspected to have perpetrated.

The victims in Oklahoma included Tara Barnett Underwood, a mother of three engaged to a man who also had three children. Underwood’s sister recalled her as “the funny, bubb aly, awesome girl that everyone knew,” underscoring the personal tragedies behind the statistics.

The manhunt for Drake concluded last Thursday morning when he was captured without incident in a wooded area south of the Morrilton intersection of University Boulevard and Poor Farm Road. His arrest followed investigative leads that placed him near a Morrilton motel, where a vehicle linked to him was discovered, and further reports indicated his recent purchase of camping equipment.

Morrilton, the town where Drake was found, is roughly 50 miles northwest of Little Rock in Conway County, with a population nearing 7,000 residents according to the latest census data. This quiet community became the unlikely endpoint of a fugitive’s flight from law enforcement spanning multiple states and involving several police departments and investigation units.

The capture of Stacy Lee Drake marks a significant, albeit somber, resolution to a violent spree that left multiple communities reeling from loss and fear. Law enforcement agencies continue to investigate the full scope of Drake’s activities and connections, hoping to provide closure to the families of the victims and ensure no further threats pose by potentially undiscovered accomplices, if any. As the legal process unfolds, the communities affected seek to recover and remember those they have lost to these tragic events.