New York – Upstate police are warning local residents to be on the alert as the hunt for two fugitives who are wanted by Tennessee police for kidnapping and attempted murder continues in the Catskills.
New York State Police said that Jarret Cole Heitmann and Makayla Daniella Stillwell were confirmed to be in the area in recent days. Fox News (http://fxn.ws/2u3tFwB0) reported that the pair forced a woman out of her home at gunpoint on June 22nd, forcing her to knock on a door of another home, shooting a man in the chest when he answered the door. The gunshot victim, Dustin Bishop, is expected to survive.
The two fled the scene, driving to New York in a stolen vehicle, and were confirmed to have been seen in the Catskills on several occasions last weekend.
Sullivan County Undersheriff Eric Chaboty urged Catskills residents to be vigilant and to report any suspicious individuals, activity or vehicles.
“You know the vehicles that belong in your neighborhood,” Chaboty told VIN News. “If you see something that doesn’t belong, call the police immediately. We don’t mind coming out even if it turns out to be nothing.”
Nevel warned residents to keep their doors locked and to keep their distance if they spot Heitmann and Stillwell.
“Get the best description you can and call law enforcement,” said Nevel. “Let them know if they were on foot, in a vehicle and their direction of travel.”
A home invasion that took place in the pre-dawn hours of June 24th on Altamont Road in Bloomingburg that had unknown individuals injuring the homeowner and taking a gun from the residence is believed to be linked to Heitmann and Stillwell.
Chaboty said that the two were responsible for the break in. Trooper Steven Nevel, public information officer for the New York State Police’s Troop F, said that the NYSP is still awaiting results of DNA testing that would confirm that Heitmann and Stillwell had been in the Bloomingburg home.
The pair were positively identified several hours later at the Walmart in Matamoras, Pennsylvania, located approximately 21 miles from Bloomingburg near the convergence of the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania state lines. The two were also spotted in Pine Bush, home to one of Heitmann’s relatives. Chaboty said that the stolen car used by the two was recovered in Pine Bush.
There have been no new sightings of Heitmann and Stillwell since last Saturday and Pennsylvania police released surveillance footage from the Matamoras Walmart showing new photographs of the pair on Wednesday. Police Chief Chad Stewart of the Eastern Pike Police Department told The Times Herald Record (http://bit.ly/2u3Bouo) that the two left the Walmart store on foot and were heading back towards New York.
Heitmann and Stillwell have both been placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s most wanted list and are considered to be armed and dangerous. Heitmann is 24 and is described as 6’1, 165 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. Stillwell is 22 and is 5’9, 145 pounds and has brown hair and green eyes.
Anyone with any information on the two is urged to call the State Police in Middletown at 845-344-5300 or the State Police barracks in Wurtsboro at 845-888-2494.