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UPDATED: One suspect remains at large after manhunt northeast of Bemidji

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News Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Authorities arrest 3, seek fourth suspect

Three people were arrested but a fourth suspect remains at large after a manhunt today northeast of Bemidji.

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A citizen's tip led law enforcement to the arrest of two Ponemah men, 24-year-old Christopher Lee Rossbach and 22-year-old Winfield William White, along a stretch of road near Buena Vista Ski Resort. A 20-year-old woman, Jessica Ann Johnson, was arrested earlier.

Beltrami County sheriff's deputies are still searching for Robert Wayne Parker Jr., 23, of Bemidji.

All four are suspects after the Sheriff's Office received a report of gunfire in Turtle River. The gunfire, suspected from an automatic rifle, came into dispatchers at 11:58 p.m. Monday.

According to the Sheriff's Office:

A short while after the call, a car sped away from the location and deputies followed the vehicle away from the residence and attempted to make a stop. The vehicle pulled to the side of the road and when deputies got out of their vehicles and began giving commands to the occupants, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed. Deputies pursued the vehicle from Turtle River, across to Irvine Avenue and north.

The fleeing vehicle hit stop sticks which had been deployed by a state trooper on Irvine Avenue.

The suspects continued northbound on two tires and eventually stopped their vehicle south of Buena Vista Ski area and fled into the woods in a westerly direction.

Deputies reported one suspect who fled on foot appeared to be armed with a pistol. Johnson, whose address is not known, was apprehended in the vehicle and arrested. An AK-47 style assault rifle was found by deputies in the car along with two 30-round magazines.

The news release said more deputies, the Headwaters SWAT team, Border Patrol 0fficers and Paul Bunyan Task Force members responded to the scene, sweeping the area in an attempt to locate the suspects.

The search was aided by a Minnesota State Patrol Helicopter using thermal imaging equipment. Officers searched several residences and out-buildings in the area and spoke with several homeowners during the manhunt.

Anyone with information about Parker's whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (218) 333-9111.

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Pioneer staff reports
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