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Lenoir County manhunt over as suspect nabbed

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:12 AM EST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2021 at 4:24 PM EST
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LENOIR COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) - The search for a Wilson man in Lenoir County is over.

Deputies say Kenneth Piper was found around 4:20 p.m. near Banks School Road and Parrott Dickerson Road. That’s where law enforcement had been concentrating their search for most of the day.

Piper was found within their search area, deputies say.

The manhunt began last night for the 29-year-old man. Deputies say Piper led them on a chase that started on Monday in Johnston County and crossed into Wayne, Greene, and Lenoir counties.

He was wanted not only for the multi-county chase, but Wilson County deputies were looking for him on a number of drug charges.

The wanted man was spotted this morning near the Banks School Road and Parrott Dickerson Road intersection, and two nearby schools were put on modified lockdowns.

Stay with WITN-TV and WITN.com for more on this developing story.

3:00 PM UPDATE

The search for a man who deputies say led them on a multi-county chase is ongoing Tuesday afternoon.

Lenoir County Sheriff Ronnie Ingram says their main search area for Kenneth Piper is by Sanderson Farms’ feed farm off Parrott Dickerson Road.

Two schools in the area that were on alert while law enforcement continued their search proceeded with dismissal this afternoon.

Ingram says they have searched 10 acres so far.

A helicopter, ATVs, and UTVs are being used in the search.

Between 30 and 40 people are involved in the manhunt.

Kinston Police, the SBI, and law enforcement from Wake, Wilson, and Wayne counties are assisting in the search.

11:00 AM UPDATE

Two nearby schools have been placed on alert after a manhunt moves closer to them.

Law enforcement is following up on several sightings of a man that deputies say led them on a multi-county chase Monday night.

Kinston Police Chief Tim Dilday, whose officers are assisting the sheriff’s office, says the sightings were called in around 8:15 and were in the area of Banks School Road near Parrott Dickerson Road.

Officers are confident it is 29-year-old Kenneth Piper and are concentrating their search on that area.

Two schools, Banks Elementary and Bethel Christian Academy are within a half-mile of that search area. Both are on Banks School Road.

A Lenoir County Schools spokesman said Banks Elementary is on a “modified schedule”, meaning that nobody goes outside the school. The movement inside the school doesn’t change, according to the spokesman.

Bethel Christian Administrator Doug Phillips says they are on a soft lockdown. He said children are kept inside while nobody goes outside and nobody comes inside the school.

7:00 AM UPDATE

The search continues for a man who deputies say led them on a chase through four counties.

The Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office says they are still looking for 29-year-old Kenneth Piper. He’s wanted not only for the multi-county chase, but Wilson County deputies are looking for him on a number of drug charges.

Deputies say Piper led them on a chase that started on Monday in Johnston County and crossed into Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties.

Investigators told WITN on Monday night they were searching the woods near the Crestview Subdivison and Hickory Hills Road near the parkway.

ORIGINAL

One person is in custody and another is still on the run this morning after a chase that spanned four counties.

Kenneth Piper, 29, is wanted by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office on a number of drug charges, including possession with intent to sell, manufacture and deliver methamphetamine, possession of LSD and resisting arrest.

Lenoir County deputies say the chase began Monday in Johnston County and crossed into Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties. Deputies say around 5:30 p.m, Piper ran out of gas on Felix Harvey Parkway, so he ran off.

A search for him lasted more than 7 hours, with drones, canines and numerous law enforcement officers. Officials are mostly searching the woods near the Crestview Subdivison and Hickory Hills Road near the parkway.

Today the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office along with numerous other agencies were involved in a vehicle chase that went...

Posted by Lenoir County Sheriff's Office on Monday, February 22, 2021

Deputies say the search was called off around 1 a.m. Tuesday. Another person who was in the car was taken into custody, but Piper is still on the run.

Deputies didn’t say when the search would continue.

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