10/07/2008

Ky. deputy wanted in slaying captured in Iowa

The Associated Press

SMITHS GROVE, Ky. — A sheriff's deputy accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in Kentucky taunted state police in an e-mail exchange Monday, threatening a county jailer and telling police he was going to "make them earn their money" in their search for him.

Simpson County Sheriff's Deputy Randall Creek, 41, is wanted on a warrant for murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend, Debbie R. Rediess, 46, authorities said. Rediess was shot to death outside her home Sunday morning in Smiths Grove, which is about 85 miles south of Louisville.

In an e-mail that was sent to a newspaper, Kentucky State Police and about 30 other recipients, Creek confesses to the killing, Trooper Todd Holder said.

"I am not running to get away but I am going to make the KSP earn their money on this one," Creek said in the e-mail, which was posted on the Daily News of Bowling Green's Web site. "I have never been armed after the encounter and there will be no chase or struggle I assure you."

Authorities, however, said they believed Creek to be armed with at least a handgun and said they had evidence that he had been in the Louisville area.

Late Monday afternoon, Creek sent another e-mail to law enforcement and media in which he threatened Warren County Jailer Jackie Strode. Creek ran as a Republican in the 2002 jailer's race and was defeated by Strode, the incumbent. Creek also said in the e-mail that Strode fired him from a job at the county jail in 1999.

"If I have contact with him at his facility I assure you I will kill him with my bare hands and he knows I am capable even before this encounter happened," he said in the e-mail.

Holder said police had notified Strode, the jail and area law enforcement.

"We know he's stopping and using computers. We know he's alive," Holder said.

But police said Creek has avoided leaving online tracks for authorities to follow. Holder said the hotmail.com e-mail account that Creek was using did not provide an ip address, or the identity of the computer the mail was sent from.

"We're trying to track somebody who knows what we do to track people, so it makes it more difficult," Holder said.

Hours before Rediess was shot, Creek sent an e-mail to the Daily News describing his feelings for Rediess. It was one of several letters Creek had written to the paper in recent years, the newspaper reported.

In the letter, Creek said Rediess ended their relationship after five years because he wouldn't set a wedding date.

"I don't blame her for leaving but I guess the message I am trying to get across to couples in this area is never take for granted that your spouse or girlfriend will always be there," he wrote in the e-mail. "To my darling Debbie I love you very much and I hope that one day we will be married and live happily ever after."

State police got Creek's personal e-mail address from the suspect's brother and sent their own message asking Creek to turn himself in. Three hours and 35 minutes later, Creek responded, saying he had become jealous after seeing his ex-girlfriend with another man.

Louisville police, state troopers and U.S. marshals were searching for Creek.

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