Couple remains at large after morning chase

Vernon R. Johnson and Myranda R. York have eluded authorities searching for them in the region

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SWAT officers prepare for a raid during their search this morning for suspects in a high-speed chase.

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Officers work at the scene of a car chase that ended in a crash and resulted in a search for four suspects.

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A brindled boxer puppy was discovered unharmed during a search of the crashed car.

MILTON-FREEWATER - A Walla Walla couple who escaped authorities in Idaho earlier this month after a high-speed chase have again escaped officers in another high-speed chase early Friday morning, officials said.

Walla Walla County Undersheriff Edward Freyer said a deputy had arrived at the scene of a routine incident at 1:10 a.m. in a rural part of the county when a stolen 1994 Gold Honda Accord sped off from the scene.

A pursuit followed, during which time the deputy identified two of four occupants as Vernon Ray Johnson and Myranda Raenn York.

Johnson and York were involved in a high-speed chase on Feb. 4 that ended with both getting away on foot in a field just outside of Glenns Ferry, Idaho, according to the Idaho Press-Tribune and other news agencies.

Friday's chase ended with a crash around 1:35 a.m. in an orchard near Locust and Winesap roads, northwest of Milton-Freewater.

Johnson and York were seen running into the orchard in one direction; the other two occupants - Skyler Ian Glasby and Breanna Nicole Rutherford - ran off to another part of the orchard, Freyer said.

Deputies closed off the area and officers from the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, Milton-Freewater Police Department and Oregon State Police joined Walla Walla County Sheriff's deputies in a search that lasted until just after 9 a.m.

After conducting a spot check of the stolen vehicle, which was presumed to be empty, deputies heard a howling noise.

Deputies walked back to the car and found a brindled boxer puppy that had been hiding under the seat; the dog was unharmed.

Around 6 a.m., Rutherford turned herself in.

She was found walking on a road back toward the crashed vehicle, Freyer said.

An hour later, Glasby was arrested without incident after a resident discovered him hiding in a trash can, according to a Umatilla County Sheriff's report.

Glasby, 23, of 1116 S. Third St., Dayton, is a known gang member with convictions in Columbia County, according to officials.

He recently completed a two-month sentence in the Walla Walla County Jail after pleading guilty to criminal charges related to the passing of counterfeit $20 bills at area businesses in November.

He was apprehended Nov. 30 in Walla Walla after a 21-hour standoff with police at a mobile home in the 1800 block of Plaza Way.

Johnson, who remains at large, is wanted in Oregon, Idaho and Washington.

Walla Walla police said he is wanted locally for escaping community custody, possession of dangerous drugs, eluding and possession of stolen property.

York is wanted for possession of stolen property, police said.

The boxer puppy was taken into protective custody by the Umatilla County Sheriff's Office and will be cared for by local pet rescue volunteers.

A new permanent home cannot be given to the puppy right away because of ownership rights, but officials are considering filing animal neglect and abandonment charges.

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