Tip call leads to Loudon County murder suspect’s arrest

Local News

A murder suspect on the run earlier Monday, is now in jail. 

The search to track him down lasted hours and spanned county lines.

Everything started Monday morning, along Lee Hi Street, in Lenoir City.

When deputies arrived, they found a man dead from what appeared to be gun shot wounds.

Monday afternoon brought an arrest. Knoxville police and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office taking the suspect, David Miles, into custody in West Knox County. 

The Loudon County Sheriff says a tip helped them catch Miles.

     Related | Citizen tip leads to arrest of Loudon County deadly shooting suspect

WATE 6 On Your Side reporter Elizabeth Kuebel spoke to the woman that phoned in the vital tip.

The tipster, Laura Spalding, really credits it to perfect timing. Her mom showed her a Facebook post the Loudon County Sheriff’s Department made Monday morning, detailing the suspect’s car and other information.  

Monday afternoon, Spalding recognized the suspect’s car on the interstate and dialed 911.

“I had looked, and I saw the car, and I was like ‘there’s no way.’ And my friend looks at me and he goes, ‘Laura, those are the wheels,”‘ Spalding said. 

The wheels she’s talking about are the ones on the car police last saw Miles driving.

“At first I didn’t even know what to do. I kind of just froze. I was crying, I was scared. I didn’t know what to do, so immediately I just called 911,” she said.

And deputies are happy she did. Within minutes, Spalding says, police pulled up right behind the suspect’s car. 

“Her paying attention potentially helped us capture that suspect hours and hours before we may have,” Corporal Matt Fagiana said.

It was game-changer in their minds. As for Spalding, she’s just happy no one else got hurt.

“I was scared, I was heartbroken. But at the same time I was happy. I was happy that I was there, he was there, this is over. In that moment that I picked up that phone and dialed 911, I knew this was over,” she said.

Spalding is now encouraging all of us to pay attention and take those police social media posts seriously. And she says, if you see something you believe could help police, make sure you call it in.

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