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Sought since 2006; Gepp man arrested in Texas

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Randy Ray Campbell
A Gepp man on the run from Baxter County for about two years has finally been nabbed by law officials.

Randy Ray Campbell, 48, originally from the Gepp area, was caught in Houston County, Texas, March 8.

Campbell had been evading law enforcement since December 2006.

According to the Baxter County Sheriff's Office, "Baxter County deputies first had contact with Campbell when they responded to a one wehicle traffic accident on Baxter CR 782 on Feb. 11, 2006 that claimed the life of Nicole Crain of Gepp, who was a passenger in the vehicle. The vehicle had left the roadway and crashed into a tree. Deputies at the accident scene found evidence that alcohol had been involved in the crash. The driver of the vehicle could not immediately be confirmed; however, the mother of the victim, Tammy S. Huckabee, told deputies she had been driving the vehicle at the time of the crash. Deputies had reason to believe that Huckabee was not the driver of the vehicle and continued their investigation. Investigator Brad Lewis and Sgt. Bob Buschbacher conducted a follow-up. This included interviewing other passengers and collecting blood samples inside the vehicle at the crash site for DNA comparative analysis. These samples were sent to the Arkansas Crime Laboratory for testing."

As the Baxter County law enforcement investigated the case, they found that Campbell was a sex offender and had not registered with the sheriff's department. He was arrested March 4, 2006 for failing to register. He posted a $10,000 bond and was later released.

A few months later, the Arkansas Crime Lab reported their findings to the investigators. There was enough evidence to place Campbell as being the driver in the accident that killed Crain.

Campbell was arrested for negligent homicide, DWI and other charges on Aug. 17, 2006. He then posted a $15,000 bond and was not seen or heard from again and did not appear for court on Dec. 13, 2006.

In the meantime, investigators believed Campbell was with Huckabee, but Campbell could not be found. When the Baxter County Sheriff's Department implemented its Web site, Campbell's mug shot was put on the "Most Wanted" page and later on the "Hot Cases" page. The posting of Campbell's picture prompted some tips from the public.

One tip authorities received six weeks ago was that Campbell and Huckabee were living in a RV in New Mexico. According to a Baxter County Sheriff's press release, authorities in New Mexico checked the information and found the RV that had belonged to them abandonded. It was also found that Campbell was using the alias "Lonnie Huckabee," which, according to the Baxter County Sheriff's Department, is the name of the father of the victim who died in the February vehicle accident.

The Houston County Sheriff's Department in Texas received a tip on Campbell and called the Baxter County Sheriff's Department on March 7, 2009. They had told the Baxter County authorities someone had seen the picture of Campbell on the Web site and said Campbell was camping out in the national forest in Houston County.

Houston County authorities investigated the lead March 8, 2009 and found Campbell camping in the forest and took him into custody. Campbell also had some firearms at his camp site, which he might face charges for in Texas.

According to the Baxter County Sheriff's Department, Campbell will be extradited back to Baxter County.

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