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    Suspect in multiple Oklahoma, Alabama killings arrested in Arkansas

    By Gabe Hauari, Alexia Aston, Nolan Clay and Thao Nguyen, USA TODAY NETWORK,

    26 days ago
    Stacy Lee Drake, 50, of Birmingham, Alabama, was last seen on foot outside a motel in Morrilton, Arkansas, and is believed to be armed and dangerous. Provided/Arkansas Department of Public Safety

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A man who was linked to multiple homicides in Oklahoma and Alabama was arrested Thursday after a nearly two-day manhunt, authorities said.

    Stacy Lee Drake , 50, was taken into custody without incident at about 10 a.m. in a wooded area south of an intersection in Morrilton, Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Department of Public Safety. He was wanted in connection with the slayings of three people in Oklahoma and a fourth in Alabama, authorities said.

    "Drake is wanted in connection with homicides and carjackings in Oklahoma and is wanted on other felony warrants from multiple jurisdictions, with charges including aggravated robbery, carjacking, and murder," the Arkansas Department of Public Safety said in a news release .

    The Arkansas Department of Public Safety had warned residents in the area of Morrilton, about 50 miles northwest of Little Rock, to be on alert after he was spotted outside a motel in the city. Prior to his arrest, authorities said Wednesday that Drake was known to have purchased camping gear that indicated that he was still in the area.

    Drake, who has an extensive criminal history, was described by law enforcement as armed and dangerous.

    "If you look at his criminal history, he was continuously escalating his violent behavior," Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Kennedy said at a news conference Thursday. "He is now at least responsible for three, possibly four homicides that we know about in the last two months. So, I would not be surprised if there's other homicides out there that are unsolved in other jurisdictions."

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    Suspect tied to at least 3 killings in Oklahoma, 1 in Alabama

    On Tuesday, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was asked for assistance in a homicide investigation in Gans, a town in Sequoyah County near the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line. The agency said Sequoyah County Sheriff's Office deputies had responded to a report regarding two deceased individuals around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

    When deputies arrived at the scene, they found an adult male and female dead inside a propane business, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

    The man and woman, identified as Taylor Sharp and Tara Underwood, had been shot to death, the agency said in a court affidavit. Sharp and Underwood were employees of LaFerry's Propane.

    Authorities identified Drake as a person of interest after reviewing the surveillance video. The video showed him driving away in Underwood's 2016 GMC Acadia after exiting the business, according to the affidavit. The vehicle was later located in Morrilton late Tuesday night.

    Drake is also suspected of killing a man in El Reno, a city just west of Oklahoma City. Shortly after his arrest on Thursday, the El Reno Police Department confirmed to local television station KOCO 5 that Drake was identified as a suspect in a June 14 murder.

    The man, identified as 56-year-old Phillip Emerson, was found dead in a home and his vehicle was presumed stolen by the suspect, according to KOCO 5.

    In Alabama, Kennedy said Drake is suspected of killing Alcoholics Anonymous counselor Russell Andrews, 62, on or about May 14. Police had responded to the Alcoholics Anonymous Club in downtown Tuscaloosa after Andrews was discovered dead inside the building.

    Surveillance video showed Andrew's vehicle missing from the scene and presumed stolen by the suspect, according to Kennedy. The vehicle was then located several hours later near the Oklahoma-Arkansas state line.

    Who is Stacy Lee Drake?

    Authorities previously said Drake was from Birmingham, Alabama, but Kennedy noted Thursday that the suspect was not from the state.

    "(Drake), at one time, was arrested in Alabama 15 years ago... for multiple, numerous violent felony crimes," Kennedy said, adding that Drake was linked to a Birmingham address that "may have been involved with him being in a homeless shelter there."

    Drake had only been in Tuscaloosa for about a week or two, Kennedy said. He described Drake as a "transient" who had no fixed address and an extensive criminal history in multiple states.

    Based on background investigations, Kennedy said investigators believe Drake spent a lot of time in Oklahoma and Arizona. Drake was also a federal inmate at "different points in his career" and there were outstanding pending federal charges on him for violating his parole, according to Kennedy.

    "He was utilizing a false name, and possibly dressing himself differently, including hats and glasses, at the time that he was in Tuscaloosa," Kennedy said. "It appears that he was traveling the country in this lifestyle, utilizing false names, in an attempt to keep from being incarcerated."

    This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Suspect in multiple Oklahoma, Alabama killings arrested in Arkansas

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