A view from the scene in Bedford, Iowa.
(Photo: Andrea Melendez, The Des Moines Register)
Regina Zilbermints and Jason Noble, The Des Moines Register
BEDFORD, Iowa - An escaped convict broke into the home of a southwest Iowa couple Monday night and held them at gunpoint for several hours before one of the hostages shot and killed the intruder, police said Tuesday.
Rodney Eugene Long, 38, broke out of the Clarinda Correctional Facility about 20 miles away on Friday. He allegedly shot a Taylor County deputy Sunday night after stealing a gun in a home burglary and led police on a 40-minute chase, triggering a massive manhunt Monday in the area.
Around 10:15 p.m. CT Monday, Long broke into the house of a retired prison guard and his wife, who had a shotgun in the house, authorities said. The couple, Jerome and Carolyn Mauderly, ages 71 and 66, shot and killed Long in their kitchen.
Officials found him lying face down with one wound. They have not said who killed Long.
Authorities Monday described Long as armed and dangerous and urged the public not to approach him if they saw him.
Residents of Taylor County, which has a population of about 6,300, reported taking precautions from locking their doors to escorting one another to their vehicles as they awaited news of a capture.
The wounded deputy, Dan Wyckoff, 33, remained in an Omaha, Neb., hospital in stable condition late Monday with injuries that are not life threatening, officials said. They credit his survival to wearing a protective vest.
"It definitely saved his life, or at least saved him from serious, serious injury," said Mitch Mortved, Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation special agent in charge.
Long is the first person to escape from the Clarinda Correctional Facility since 1997, officials said. Long's escape was the first this year from any Iowa prison.
Authorities gave this account of how the manhunt unfolded:
Long escaped from the facility sometime between 4 and 7 a.m. CT Friday.
On Sunday night, he was spotted walking along Iowa 2, just east of New Market. Taylor County deputies responded.
Wyckoff, who has been with the department for two years, arrived first. When Wyckoff got out of his vehicle, Long allegedly shot the deputy twice, once in the left arm and once in his abdomen, stole the deputy's unmarked truck and fled.
A second deputy picked up Wyckoff moments later and then pursued Long, officials said. He maintained the pursuit until other law enforcement agencies arrived to assist, then took Wyckoff to a waiting ambulance.
Other officers continued chasing Long and exchanged gunfire with him during the 40-minute chase, which ended when Long rolled the vehicle several times. He fled on foot into nearby fields.
Authorities could not say how many shots were fired.
Officers from more than a dozen agencies in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska combed the area searching for Long. The Iowa State Patrol and Nebraska State Patrol aided the search in aircraft. Officials checked houses and outbuildings in the area.
The Junction Cafe here was busier than usual Monday, full of diners anxious to hear updates and share rumors about a manhunt. The cafe, at the edge of Bedford, is less than five miles from where the crash occurred.
Waitress Josie Gray said she was at home Sunday night when she saw "like 20 cops" go speeding by, joining the chase, she surmised later.
When Long was at large, residents remained wary.
Gray said when she went outside to lock the doors on her family's vehicles Sunday, an acquaintance stood guard on the porch with a gun. In a change from normal practice, the management at the cafe kept the back door locked all day.