Evan Pearson still at large, is wanted in connection with burglaries
CARROLL COUNTY -- Evan Pearson, the Berryville man accused of harboring a runaway girl last fall and of burglarizing a string of businesses this February, is still on the loose, police say.
Pearson, the son of Sgt. Shannon Pearson, of the Berryville Police Department, was arrested last Thanksgiving, after he and Desiray Thibodeaux were found sleeping in a car on the campus of Morehead State University, in Kentucky. Thibodeaux, 16 at the time, had been missing from Oak Grove since Halloween.
Pearson bailed out of jail on Christmas Eve and, in January, pleaded not guilty to interfering with custody, a Class C felony.
In addition to the Thibodeaux case, Pearson is accused of burglarizing Mane Street Salon and Reliable Poultry in Green Forest, and Berryville Auto Sales and Jim's Small Engine Repair in Berryville. All four burglaries occurred during the last week in February.
Warrants were issued for Pearson's arrest in both Berryville and Green Forest in March, in relation to the burglaries. However, he has so far eluded capture.
A third arrest warrant was issued for Pearson on April 9, after he missed a pre-trial hearing in the Thibodeaux case.
A second suspect in February burglaries, Tom Paul Morris, is already in police custody. During a March 8 interview with police, Morris reportedly confessed to burglarizing Reliable Poultry and Berryville Auto Sales and to assisting in the other two break-ins.
Morris also told police that Pearson had participated in all four burglaries.
At Mane Street Salon, in Green Forest, the burglars reportedly made off with several checks and less than $20 in cash. At Jim's Small Engine Services, they are accused of stealing a weed eater. They were less successful in the other two crimes.
At Berryville Auto Sales, burglars tried, but failed, to break into a safe -- causing an estimated $1,200 of damage in the process. At Reliable Poultry, they were scared away by an alarm before they could take anything.
During his interview, Morris told police a sledgehammer and crowbar used in the crimes were being stored at the home of Pearson's mother. Police later executed a search warrant on the home and found the tools.
Morris also told police that a third suspect had been involved in the Green Forest burglaries, though he knew only his first name. It is not clear whether police have learned the identity of that suspect or obtained an arrest warrant, because Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey could not be reached for comment.
Berryville Det. Robert Bartos said police were still seeking Pearson, and investigating tips as they received them.
He said several people had provided information on Pearson's whereabouts but that, each time, Pearson escaped before police could arrest him.
The last tip was received about two weeks ago, the detective said, and police are no longer sure whether Pearson is still in the area.
"The whole county's looking for him," Bartos said. "... (but) it's not like we've got two officers out at all times just looking for Evan (Pearson). We've only got so much manpower."
Berryville Police Chief Dave Muniz encouraged anyone with information about Pearson's whereabouts to contact law enforcement at 870-423-7373.