MILLS RIVER -- Below are the latest updates on the manhunt for Phillip Michael Stroup II.
Update on the Pisgah Forest Manhunt: Tuesday, 7/25/2017 -
Late yesterday afternoon, as manpower and resources increased through the cooperation of several local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, special response teams saturated the inside of the perimeter searching for the suspect, Phillip Michael Stroupe II. As K-9's and tactical officers followed leads, the track led them to the eastern part of the perimeter toward the North Mills River Area of Henderson County. Officers continued the search from Monday afternoon into the night and on to Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon, it became apparent that operation was shifting directions and locations from the woodland areas surrounding Yellow Gap Road in Transylvania into the rural areas of North Mills River into Henderson. As the terrain changed, and the track led to the opposite side of the perimeter, the Transylvania County Sheriff's Office made the decision to relinquish command to Henderson County as the manhunt had in fact led to their jurisdiction. As Henderson County took command, the decision was subsequently made to move the command center to their control out of Transylvania County's jurisdiction.
Late Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Forest Service, with the input of their stakeholders in the Pisgah National Forest, decided to re-open U.S. Highway 276 North leading from Brevard into the Pisgah National Forest. Public safety remains our utmost priority. Please remain alert and cautious.
Although we are disappointed that the suspect was not apprehended, we are optimistic that justice will eventually be served. Every available resource and option has been exhausted, and every known lead that we been made aware of has been followed. Our staff is exhausted. They have absolutely worked harder than what we could have ever imagined. Their dedication is amazing. And everyone jumped in and help....from the officers with boots on the ground, to perimeter teams, to support staff, to logistics, etc. Our entire staff, every division, was involved and gave us everything they had. Then when they were completely spent, they gave some more. We can't tell you how proud we are of all of you. Get some rest, and get back to your familes.
Over the next several days, we will properly thanking all of the law enforcement and public safety agencies who generously assisted our efforts.
We also appreciate the patience and understanding of our business owners and forest visitors who were disrupted by the criminal actions of the suspect.
To the public, thank you so much for all of your support. We are so blessed to be able to serve you. The water, the food, the supplies, the snacks, everything - THANK YOU SO MUCH! You generosity has been wonderful! Most of all, we are grateful for all of the prayers and well wish that have been sent our way.
The search for Phillip Michael Stroupe II continues. The operation phase has simply changed. Updates will be provided as we have them. Thank you and God Bless!
Henderson County Sheriff's Office Face Book Account
Search for Phillip Stroupe - Update – 7/25/17 8:37pm
There have been no substantial changes since the press briefing held shortly after 5pm. Law enforcement is continuing to provide increased patrols in the Mills River area. Citizens are encouraged to lock their doors, make sure all vehicles are secure and to report any individuals matching Stroupe’s description or suspicious activity by calling 911.
Phillip Michael Stroupe II is a 38 year old white male, approximately 5’8”-5’10” tall, with a small build; he has a shaved head and a large, distinct tattoo on his neck just under his chin as well as tattoos on his arms and chest. Stroupe is considered armed and dangerous.
We will continue to provide updates to our local media partners, the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page and Nixle Emergency Alerts with new developments as they become available.