published Friday, April 20th, 2012

Rape suspect caught in Marion County

A known sex offender suspected of being involved in the rape of a 4-year-old girl has been arrested, Marion County officials said.

Joshua Luke Mitchell, 34, was spotted behind Riverside Catfish House on Highway 41 in Marion County, said Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said.

The person who saw Mitchell called his neighbor Marion County Detective Matt Blansett, who was off-duty and lives in the area, Burnett said. When officers arrived around 6:30 p.m. CDT, Mitchell ran and had to be restrained to be arrested, the sheriff said.

"He didn't give up easy," he said.

Mitchell was taken to Marion County Jail, where he will be charged with the rape of a child, Burnett said. It's unclear whether more charges will be filed, he said.

Mitchell is registered on sex offender lists in Alabama, North Carolina and Texas. The Texas registry lists Mitchell as "high risk."

The incident occurred Sunday in the Haletown area, Marion County Detective Gene Hargis has said, and Mitchell is an acquaintance of the victim's family.

Although Mitchell had been living in Marion County for about two months, he had not registered as a sex offender, Hargis said.

The Alabama sex offender registry, updated on Jan. 27, lists a Jan. 15, 1999, conviction for Mitchell on charges of indecent liberties with a 15-year-old girl.

about Staff Report...

Get breaking news from the Times Free Press on Twitter at or by visiting us on Facebook or Twitter at the right:

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.