By David Hammer, The Associated Press
ALREAD, Ark. (AP) -- Two men wanted for questioning in a couple's
disappearance shot and wounded a state trooper Monday before escaping
from a Ozark Mountain hut that police had surrounded.
"I feel like they're still close but they can hide pretty good in the
woods," state police Sgt. Pete Westerman said. He did not know how
the men escaped from the 100-square-foot hut without dozens of
Between 10-15 officers had gone to the hut Monday morning to serve
three warrants and engaged in a brief gun battle at dawn. After the
gun fight, the troopers were joined by agents from the FBI and
federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"We had our fingers crossed that we had them contained," Westerman
said. "Somehow or another, they got out right after the shooting
Police using an armored vehicle approached the hut about 10 hours
after first attempting to serve their warrants. When they reached it,
they discovered that the men were not inside.
Officers were searching a 200-acre area surrounding the property and
feared the men would find places to hide in nearby Rattlesnake Hollow
or make their way to Archey Creek, which leads away from the area.
"Somehow, they slipped through our perimeter," said Van Buren County
Sheriff Scott Bradley. "When you're exchanging gunfire it gets a
Westerman said no weapons were found in the hut, in nearby sheds or
in a school bus parked on the property. Officers believed the men
were armed and dangerous.
Police had been watching the property of the two men, Mark
Holsombach, 49, and William J. Frazier, 28, and wanted to speak to
them about the recent disappearance of Theodore R. Throneberry, 46,
and his wife Ann Ryberg Throneberry, 45.
Throneberry was last seen in February when he left a pipefitting job
in Illinois and headed his home near Alread. His wife has been
missing from their home since March 1. Police suspect foul play in
About four dozen officers were searching for the escaped men Monday afternoon.
"We really need to talk to these guys," Westerman said. "We need to
keep someone else from getting hurt."
Police said Holsombach and Frazier had been seen earlier standing in
the Throneberry's front yard, near their home along a dirt road, and
were the last two people seen with the woman before she disappeared.
State police went to the house early Monday to serve a set of
warrants -- one a bench warrant for Holsombach for possession of
firearms, a Florida arrest warrant that included a theft charge
against Frazier, and a search warrant for the hut.
New warrants were issued Monday, alleging attempted capital murder
because of the shootout.
During the gun battle, Trooper Charlie Edmonson was shot in the left
arm by rifle fire, Westerman said. The bullet ricocheted off
Edmonson's bullet-proof vest and struck his arm. He also chipped a
tooth and had to see a dentist. Edmonson was treated and released
from a Little Rock hospital.
Westerman said police believe the men have many weapons, but weren't
sure of how many or what kind. He also said there's no way to know
how many supplies the two have.
Authorities said Holsombach has 12 felony convictions scattered
across the country. When asked what type of convictions Holsombach
had, Westerman said, "You name it. He's nearly been in trouble since
In nearby Alread School District, officials let parents pick up their
children and about half of the district's 85 students went home
early. If the men weren't found by Tuesday morning, the district
would call off classes for the day.
Alread resident James McGaha said Holsombach and Frazier had lived in
the community about three or four years. Police said the pair use
several different names.
"Nobody knew them," McGaha said. "We just know they have no water and
Carmalee Pack, 37, of Alread and her friend Savanah Scarberry, 19,
also of Alread, said the home was just about 100 square feet and was
made of wood that the men had gathered.
"I couldn't believe someone would live in a house like that," Scarberry said.
Pack said she was friends with Mrs. Throneberry and that the two
would visit while their husbands were away on jobs. Pack described
the couple as nice people who didn't bother anyone.
"I wasn't spooked until now," Pack said after finding out that the
men were missing. "Now I think this is spooky."
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Alread is a tiny community 20 miles west of Clinton and about 65
miles north of Little Rock.