Border Patrol seeking fugitive who may be in Sandusky County

The Sandusky County Sheriff's Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol are assisting U.S. Customs and Border Patrol with a fugitive search. (Jim Nelson/WNWO).

State, local and federal law enforcement agencies are searching for a fugitive who may be hiding out in northern Ohio.

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol spokesman tells NBC 24 that two men fled on foot Monday after federal agents attempted to stop their vehicle on the Ohio Turnpike in Sandusky County.

One of the men was captured while the other was able to slip into a nearby wooded area.

He remains at large.

The Border Patrol spokesman said the man who was captured was in the country illegally from Honduras.

He could not say whether or not the at-large fugitive was also in the country illegally -- nor could he provide information on why the stop was initiated. He did mention that I-80/I-90 is a frequently traveled roadway for drug and human traffickers.

The spokesman also said it is common for illegal immigrants to attempt to escape when pulled over by law enforcement.

On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Ed Hastings of the Sandusky County Sheriff's Office says he spotted the man near State Route 412 and County Road 244.

It prompted a massive search effort involving K9 dogs and the Fremont Police Department's drone.

But officers were unable to spot the subject again.

"It's very frustrating," Hastings said on Thursday. "We don't like when people get away from us."

The unidentified suspect is described as Hispanic and about 5'4" tall.

Chief Deputy Hastings says the primary responsibility for the Sheriff's Office is to be of assistance to state and federal agencies.

"Our deputies are constantly in the area, we're checking for him, we're trying to locate him still."

But the problem, he says, is that a good chunk of the county is rural and filled with wooded areas, high trees and corn fields.

"It's pretty easy for people to hide and conceal themselves, so that's one of the challenges we have here."

People who live in the area are wondering what might come of the situation.

"All the neighbors around here got a call that they spotted the guy," said Abel Lozano, who lives near where the sighting took place.

But he says he doesn't feel threatened.

"I'm not really too concerned. The wife is more concerned than I am, right away she's telling me to get home, but no I'm not worried about."

Officials say they do not believe the suspect is armed, though he could dangerous in that he may be desperate.

"Stay vigilant, and if you happen to see someone walking on your property that shouldn't be there, if they're walking down the road and it looks odd -- call us."

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