Feds assisting in search for Bald Knob murder suspect
By Matt Mershon
BALD KNOB (KATV) - Authorities in White County have enlisted the help of the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the U.S. Marshals in locating a murder suspect from shooting Sunday night in Bald Knob. White County Sheriff's investigators believe Robert Draft, 50, fled the state after allegedly battering his wife and the killing his father-in-law. The property at the end of Barber Road in Bald Knob belongs to Kathie Draft and her husband Robert; her parents Brenda & Douglas Cloyes lived on the same piece of land just up the road. Barber Road was quiet on Wednesday, but an all different scene Sunday night after Draft and her husband reportedly got into an altercation where Mr. Draft beat Mrs. Draft severely, to the point where she required hospitalization. "During the physical altercation, Ms. Draft was able to escape from him, get in her car and lock the door and be able to go down the road," said Chief Deputy Phillip Miller, White County Sheriff's Office. Draft rushed to her parents' house to seek shelter, but Mr. Draft shortly followed after her. According to police, Draft and his father-in-law Douglas Cloyes also got into an altercation, but this time Draft used deadly force, allegedly shooting and killing Cloyes on scene. Deputies said according to witness statements, Draft fled the scene quickly. Draft is originally from Michigan, he's also spent extensive time in Tennessee - his car has Tennessee license plates. "We're really concentrating on those two states as number one and number two places that we're looking for him," said Miller. "We do believe him to be out of state." Investigators have been in contact with Draft's mother in his home state of Michigan. They say she's been cooperative, but has not yet provided authorities with a location on her son. Draft is now wanted for first degree murder and felony domestic battery. He is believed to have fled the state in a dark colored Chevrolet pickup truck with Tennessee license plates. Anyone with information on Draft's whereabouts is urged to contact the White County Sheriff's Office at (501) 279-6279 or (501) 279-6231.
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