published Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Update: South Carolina police find teens wanted in Tennessee killing

NEWBERRY, S.C. — A 16-year-old wanted in the killing of his father in Tennessee hid from police dogs, officer and helicopters in central South Carolina with three of his friends for 10 hours Thursday before they were caught, police said.

The search ended around 3:30 p.m. when someone saw the teens running across a field into the woods and called 911, Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said.

A helicopter followed them until deputies were able to take them into custody. No one was hurt, Foster said.

Officers had worried the suspects, who are 15 and 16 years old, were heavily armed. They took at least eight guns from Tennessee, and four pistols were missing from their van after it crashed, Foster said.

The father, a 36-year-old man from Greeneville, Tenn., was found shot to death in his home around 11 p.m. Wednesday and his van was missing, deputies in Greene County, Tenn., said. They did not give a motive for the killing.

Investigators think the 16-year-old killed his father and then met up with three others to run away. The families of the three teens reported them missing this morning, Foster said.

"We are reasonably sure they know about the murder and have assisted with the flight," the sheriff said at a news conference.

A South Carolina trooper spotted the teens in the van about seven hours after the father was found dead at a rest area on Interstate 26 in Newberry, about 175 miles south of Greeneville. Before he could arrest the teens, they drove off, Foster said.

Troopers and deputies chased it down I-26, through the city of Newberry and down a two-lane road out of town. A deputy used spikes to puncture the tires, but the teens ran from the van into the woods and a swamp nearby, the sheriff said.

Four rifles were found in the car, but four handguns that Tennessee authorities think were also with the suspects are missing, along with ammunition, investigators said.

No one was hurt in the chase, the sheriff said.

Foster said the suspects are three boys and a girl. Two of them are 15, and two are 16.

The teens were talking to people back in Tennessee as they drove south, but all of their cellphones were found in the van after it crashed, the sheriff said.

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