Three people accused of hiding fugitive suspected in man’s disappearance

Authorities in North Carolina announced Saturday that they had arrested three people accused of hiding a fugitive believed to have kidnapped a missing 68-year-old man.

Buncombe County Sheriff Van Duncan told local media that 40-year-old Jennifer Hawkins, 45-year-old Franklin Badgero Jr., and 23-year-old Larry Jay Hawkins are charged with harboring Phillip Stroupe II in Hawkins’ Barnardsville home Wednesday night.

Stroupe was arrested Thursday after a manhunt that closed parts of the Pisgah National Forest for days. He faces drug, weapons and fleeing police charges in McDowell County, with more charges likely to be filed.

At the time of his arrest, Stroupe was driving a truck that belonged to Thomas Bryson, of Mills River. Investigators believe that Stroupe kidnapped Bryson Wednesday morning, and the search for the missing man is ongoing.

Bryson was last seen Wednesday morning on a surveillance camera driving away from his home to pick up a family member for a medical appointment. He never made it there.

The manhunt for…

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