ANTWERP, Ohio — Branden Lee Powell, 32, of Antwerp, Ohio a suspected rapist who ran away in the course of prison transport has reportedly committed suicide. The man had escaped from Ohio last week after overpowering a police officer. Now the death of the suspect on Monday brings an end to the massive ongoing manhunt to nab him.
Officials claim that the police was very close to apprehending him as he had been located in a basement crawl space of his parent’s home in a rural area of Antwerp. Officials claim that his parents tried to prod him to come out of the basement, but the suspect didn’t comply. Instead he committed suicide.
Paulding County Sheriff’s Jason Landers in a statement said “Powell did not comply with those efforts. Branden Lee Powell chose to take his own life by gunshot at approximately 9:30 pm”.
The efforts to locate and nab the suspect were being carried out by not just police, but also Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Marshal Services.
Paulding County Sheriff’s Jason Landers went on to add, “While this is not the outcome law enforcement had hoped for, law enforcement hopes the community can rest knowing this armed and dangerous individual is no longer a danger to the community”.
The suspect was indicted of first-degree rape, attempted rape and four sexual battery charges last month. He was arrested and in the course of being transferred, he ran away.
There is no denying that Powell seemed to have complete idea as to what he was doing. Officials claim that the suspect was being transported from a psychiatric hospital in Toledo to the Paulding County Jail in northwest Ohio. He was in leg shackles and in handcuffs secured to a belly belt when he jumped over the seat and put the deputy in a headlock and caused the vehicle to crash into a ditch, according to police.
It was in the course of the fight with the police officer that the suspect stole the duty’s gun and handcuffed him to the steering wheel, police said. He then disabled the vehicle’s police radio and engine and fled the scene, authorities said, adding that he managed to get away with the deputy’s wallet, mobile phone, gun and 30 rounds of ammunition.