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Sheriff Groves & a Neighbor Evaluate Strategy to Capture Suspect - KOAM TV 7

Sheriff Groves & a Neighbor Evaluate Strategy to Capture Suspect Authorities Thought to Be in Galena Home

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GALENA, KANSAS -

"It's not pretty."

Vonda Maklin picks up the pieces

"It's like the destroying of your dream you know," she says after authorities tore up her neighbor’s home, poking holes in the walls with an armored military vehicle to coax out the suspect, Joplin Honky member Doug Alexius.

Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves says when authorities first entered the home they used an infra-red camera and discovered heat coming from the attic

"It appeared using that tool there was somebody in the attic as it turns out now we know that was incorrect. But nonetheless that was the information we were operating under at the time," says Groves.

The standoff lasted more than twenty hours. Although it was long, Sheriff Groves says it was the safest strategy for law enforcement and residents.

"Some may suggest you just rush in and we could have cleared that house in a matter of minutes. But if there was a suspect in there and would have shot one of our officers or something else happened and he was able to breach the perimeter and jeopardize the safety of the residents nearby, that's not a risk I'm willing to take." 

Vonda says the homeowner repeatedly told authorities Alexius was not inside.

"Obviously they didn't know. You know, going by somebody's tip that obviously wasn't a good tip." 

Friends and neighbors like Vonda collect the family's belongings and board up the windows to deter looters. She says the single mother of six is devastated after this ordeal.

"Probably the hardest part is just seeing they ripped their Christmas tree apart, and out their window it goes."

Sheriff Groves says the homeowner was made aware of a program to the FBI offers to help with home repair in these types of situations.    

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