Local suspects to appear on TV's Most Wanted'

Monday, September 13, 2004

The search for a fugitive and his accomplices who have victimized several Carroll County people may go nationwide Saturday night, with a scheduled segment on Fox TV's anti-crime show, "America's Most Wanted."

The Carroll County Sheriff's Office, the FBI, U.S. Marshal Service, the Secret Service, Benton County Sheriff's Office and other agencies throughout the nation are hunting for Larry Raifsnider, 32, who is suspected of taking a Eureka Springs area couple hostage at gunpoint last year, and also of burning a Green Forest area couple's home and taking their checks in an attempt to steal about $100,000 from them.

Carroll County Investigator Ralph Gordon said an "America's Most Wanted" spokeswoman told him recently that an interview with Larry Raifsnider's brother, Ed Raifsnider, who has been captured, is expected to air this Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8 p.m. in most areas of the country on Fox channels.

The interview is expected to be followed by a segment featuring the search for Larry Raifsnider, who is still at large.

Gordon said the spokeswoman told him that though the segment is planned for this Saturday, circumstances could change, and the story may be moved back to another date if needed.

The Larry Raifsnider investigation is extremely complex, Gordon said, and now involves a local, state and federal task force that is trying to put together the pieces of a crime spree that stretches from Carroll and Benton counties, throughout the Midwest and beyond.

Larry Raifsnider, and his accomplices, who include several men using fake ID's, are believed to be extremely dangerous. Raifsnider is also very cunning and elusive, Gordon said.

In crimes outside of Carroll County, Raifsnider and his brother, Ed Raifsnider, are suspected to have combed through auto trader magazines and classifieds, and passed hundreds of fake checks, with one estimate by authorities that they have passed fake checks to vehicle dealerships, banks and ordinary people selling their cars through ads.

Larry Raifsnider is thought to be the most violent of the suspects, Gordon said.

He said he wanted Carroll County people to be aware of the case and the TV schedule because the suspects could strike here again.

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