For Immediate Release
|December 14, 2012||
Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force Contact:
Bryon Carroll (352) 672-8065
|U.S. Marshals Task Force Captures Raccoon-Eating Top 10 Fugitive who was Living off the Land While on the Run|
Gainesville, FL – The Gainesville Division of the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force captured fugitive Randy Harr, 49, late yesterday in a wooded area in southeast Alachua County. Harr was wanted by multiple Tennessee agencies, including the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, for shooting and killing his wife’s ex-husband and then setting the victim’s house on fire to conceal evidence. Harr’s warrant included charges for first-degree murder, first-degree felony murder, aggravated arson, and aggravated burglary.
Harr was on Tennessee’s Top Ten Most Wanted
Fugitives list. More information on Harr’s Top Ten status can be obtained at
http://www.tbi.tn.gov/fugitives/top_ten.shtml and at
Yesterday morning, FRFTF members in Gainesville were contacted by the U.S. Marshals Smoky Mountain Fugitive Task Force in Tennessee with information that Harr may have fled to the Gainesville area. Tennessee authorities had learned that Harr had fled first to Tallahassee, Florida and then to the Gainesville area sometime in November. Tennessee authorities also suspected Harr was living off the land in an attempt to avoid capture. Harr’s exact location was unknown.
FRFTF members in Gainesville began the investigation by identifying several state parks, campgrounds, fish camps, and lakes in the Alachua County area. FRFTF members then began going to these locations to check each area and to conduct interviews. FRFTF members developed information that confirmed Harr had indeed fled to Gainesville and had been living in a tent near Newnans Lake in southeast Alachua County for two weeks in November. Harr has no known prior connections to Gainesville. FRFTF members physically located Harr’s lakeshore campsite where Harr had apparently used sticks to fish for food and used wood and glass to make homemade art to sell in Gainesville for whatever money he could earn. Further investigation revealed Harr had likely moved from this lakeshore campsite to one of several wooded areas near Southeast Hawthorne Road in Gainesville where multiple homeless camps are located. FRFTF members also learned Harr had changed his appearance and was going by a fake name.
Late yesterday afternoon, FRFTF members –
including investigators from the U.S. Marshals Service and the Alachua
County Sheriff’s Office – split into teams and began searching several
wooded areas on foot. One of the FRFTF teams spotted a tent in a wooded area
north of the 2600 block of Southeast Hawthorne Road and then saw Harr and a
second man sitting next to a small campfire. FRFTF members confronted Harr
at gunpoint and placed Harr under arrest without incident. At this campsite,
FRFTF members learned Harr and the other man had been living off the land
and surviving by hunting and eating
“This person, who is accused of committing some very violent crimes and who had become a top ten wanted fugitive, for some unknown reason had picked Gainesville as the place where he was going to hide from the law and live off the land. Our community is a lot safer today because of some very good work by several investigators in Florida and Tennessee,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryon Carroll. “No doubt local raccoons are also glad Harr is now behind bars receiving three meals a day.”
Please see the attached photos, including photos of Harr’s campsite and a photo of Harr being escorted by FRFTF members.
For additional information, please contact
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bryon Carroll at (352) 672-8065.
Have a tip? Know the whereabouts of a violent fugitive? Anonymously send your tip to the U.S. Marshals Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force by texting the word “USMFL” and your tip to TIP411 or 847411. Rewards can be anywhere from $250 up to $10,000. NOTE: The tipster should type the word “USMFL” as the first word in the text message.
Additional information about the U.S. Marshals Service can be found at http://www.usmarshals.gov.
America’s Oldest Federal Law Enforcement Agency