Reward offered in search for killer of Tennessee deputy
Police are tracking 31-year-old Steven Joshua Wiggins for the murder of Dickson County sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker on Wednesday.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A manhunt continued Thursday in the slaying of a Tennessee sheriff’s deputy who was fatally shot during a traffic stop. Police were offering a $12,500 reward to help them find a suspect who was charged the day before with hitting a woman and stealing her car.
Authorities identified the suspect as Steven Joshua Wiggins, 31, a white male with balding brown hair who they believe is armed and dangerous. State, federal and local authorities have been searching the area near where Dickson County Sheriff’s Sgt. Daniel Baker was shot and killed.
“He has the option to do the right thing,” Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said at a news conference Wednesday. “People make mistakes and people do things that are terrible, and this is an evil deed that he has done. But now he can show people that there’s still something left in him by turning himself in.”
The deputy responded to a call about a suspicious car Wednesday, then couldn’t be contacted for some time, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Niland said at a news conference. The deputy’s car was tracked by GPS to a wooded area about 2 miles (3 kilometers) away, and the deputy was found dead inside of it.
Bledsoe also said Wiggins needs to be held accountable, and said he wants the maximum penalty the law will allow.
The sheriff said Baker, 32, was one of the department’s best, a supervisor who had worked his way up to sergeant on patrol during his 10-year stint with the office. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Bledsoe said his agency has lost a brother, and the community has lost a hero.
“Our heart’s shattered with this,” he said.
Wiggins was identified as the suspect from video footage, Niland said.
He was already wanted on charges that he assaulted a woman and stole her car when he was pulled over, according to a report from the Kingston Springs Police Department.
We will continue to work overnight to track leads in the effort to locate Steven Wiggins.— TBI (@TBInvestigation) May 31, 2018
We have also finalized an arrest warrant, charging him with First Degree Murder in connection to Sgt. Daniel Baker's death.
Spot him? Call 911!
MORE: https://t.co/VUuR56WTs0 pic.twitter.com/yN7xF8LJjN
The woman, Ericka Miles-Castro, was arrested and charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in connection to Baker’s death.
The report said Miles-Castro told police early Tuesday that Wiggins had slapped her in the face and pulled out some of her hair, then put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she called police. She said he then grabbed her keys and took her car without her permission.
At the time of the report, Miles-Castro, 38, told police Wiggins was “doing meth all night and smoking marijuana.” She told police she planned to press charges, the report said.
The TBI said in a news release that during the course of the investigation, authorities developed that she had “participated in the incident.”
She is being detained at the Dickson County Jail. It is not immediately known if she has an attorney.
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