Authorities detail events that led to Gasconade County manhunt
GASCONADE COUNTY - The Gasconade County Sheriff's Department released the names Wednesday of three of the four men arrested in a suspect search following a report of a stolen vehicle Tuesday that led to a four hour manhunt.
The active search for Matthew Schmidt, a fifth suspect, ended just before 5 p.m. Tuesday. Authorities still had not found Schmidt as Wednesday, but were working to find associates of his in Gasconade and Crawford County who might know his whereabouts.
Captain Chuck Howard of the Gasconade County Sheriff's Department said Jesse Callahan, Johnny Esparza and Corey Stovall were all arrested for previous outstanding warrants. Authorities released the fourth man arrested pending an investigation because he did not have any outstanding warrants. Howard said the unnamed man who was released is a 45-year-old from Steelville.
Authorities searched the area of Miller's Auto Salvage on State Highway Y for the suspects Tuesday. Howard said the department believes the suspects stole a car, loaded it onto a truck and towed it to the salvage yard. They said another vehicle followed them there, but it's unclear who may have known the car they were towing was stolen.
Howard said he thinks at least two of the men will be charged with stolen property.
Callahan, Esparza and Stovall deny knowing the vehicle was stolen before taking it to the salvage yard.
The Gasconade County Sheriff's Department is also looking into a controlled substance found in one of the cars used to drive to the salvage yard.
Authorities believe the substance found in the passenger's side of the vehicle was crystal methamphetamine.