UPDATE: Tracking dogs, helicopter used in Nacogdoches County sea - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

UPDATE: Nacogdoches Co. Sheriffs arrest wanted suspect

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Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office:

UPDATE: NACOGDOCHES COUNTY (KYTX) - Thomas Howell has been taken into custody by the Nacogdoches County Sheriff Office after he was found hiding inside a trailer house. Sheriff Jason Bridges stated that a man hunt for Howell started Thursday around 2:00pm after Howell was seen by two witnesses inside a home on Henderson Lane. Deputies responded to the burglary call and arrived on scene in a matter of minutes. Howell had already left the house and fled in a wooded area on foot. The sheriff office, Constable's, DPS Troopers, Texas Rangers, State Game Wardens, Stephen F. Austin Police Assistant Chief and Nacogdoches Police Department assisted in setting up a perimeter around the area. A DPS helicopter and two sets of tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Division assisted in the man hunt for Howell. After an extensive search of the area that lasted for over 9 hours, Howell could not be found. Sheriff Bridges advised that we used all the resources and modern technology that was available to track Howell, but he seemed to have just disappeared.

Sheriff Bridges stated that although the search teams pulled out of the area, that deputies remained in the area of central heights throughout the night. We were still convinced that Howell was somewhere in the area, and believed that the cold weather would drive him into shelter before sunrise. Sheriff Bridges stated that deputies came back into the main search area of Henderson lane around 3:30 am and started conducting searches of several vacant houses in the area. Howell was found in a trailer house that he had originally broken into earlier in the day. Deputies were able to apprehend Howell without incident and he was taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail.

Charges filed by the Nacogdoches County Sheriff Office on Howell:

  1. Burglary of habitation with intent to commit assault 1st felony.

  2. Sexual Assault 2nd felony

  3. Retaliation 3rd felony

  4. Violation of protective order 3rd felony

  5. Burglary of a Habitation 2nd felony

  6. Assault Family Violence- Grand Jury Indictment Capias Warrant


  1. Parole Warrant Hold has also been issued for Howell

Sheriff Bridges commends the efforts of all the law enforcement personal that came together and spent countless hours tracking down Howell. Everyone worked together as a team, everyone put out 110 percent cooperation and effort to apprehend the suspect.

UPDATE from Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office:
Thomas Howell is still at large at this time. The Nacogdoches Sheriff Office, Texas DPS, Rangers, Nacogdoches County Constables, Nacogdoches Police Department, and State Game Wardens have conducted an extensive search for the suspect. We have conducted two different searches by air (DPS Helicopter) and TDCJ tracking dogs. We used two sets of tracking dogs, one from the unit in Woodville and one from the unit in Huntsville. THE DPS Helicopter performed an extensive search with its flir imaging system with no results. Both sets of tracking dogs have also conducted an extensive search with no luck. It is unknown whether or not the subject is still in the area, or was able to get a ride out of the area.

What we are doing: We have several units that will remain in the area for the rest of night and tomorrow as well. We will continue to run down leads to figure out where Howell may be located at. We have tracking dogs and the DPS helicopter on stand by for our agency. All agencies along with the U.S. Marshall's service will continue to track the suspect to take him into custody.

Threat Level: Howell's crimes have been targeted toward one person (EX-FAMILY MEMBER) and NOT THE GENERAL PUBLIC. However, he should be considered dangerous. We have no information that he has been armed. He was last seen wearing black pants and a dark color shirt. He has a tattoo on his front neck area as well. A photo of him has been posted on this page and crimestoppers.

What You Should do: make sure all your neighbors and family are aware of the situation. Keep doors locked and outside lights on at night if you live in the area.Take all keys out of your motor vehicles when they are left unattended and secure them. Report any suspicious activity immediately to the Sheriff Office. Law Enforcement will continue to be in the area throughout the night and following day.

Dispatch Number : 936-559-2607
Emergency: 911
CENTRAL HEIGHTS (KYTX) - Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges would like to alert all citizens that there is currently a man hunt in progress in the Central Heights Area.
Officers and other agency's are searching for Thomas Howell. Any information on this individual please contact Nacogdoches Police Department at 936-559-2607 or 911.
Suspect is considered Dangerous.
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