published Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

TBI searching for wanted fugitive near college in Tipton County

COVINGTON, Tenn. — Authorities are searching near a college in Tipton County for a fugitive listed among the state's top 10 most wanted.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday there is an active search under way in northern Tipton County for Stephen Melton.

Melton has been wanted by law enforcement since authorities said he drove off with a Lauderdale County sheriff deputy's SUV earlier this month. The 58-year-old Henning man was being detained on a methamphetamine-related charge when he escaped.

Part of the search included the area near Dyersburg State Community College's campus in Covington. Amy Finch, the school's public information director, says the campus was placed on lockdown Wednesday morning.

Finch says students were being released and escorted off campus by police starting at 1:15 p.m.

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