California Man ID’d as Suspect in New England Manhunt


Dade County Sheriff’s Department spent most of the hours in the blistering sun on Wednesday in pursuit of Michael Christopher McDaniel, who has since eluded capture.

A third party witnessed McDaniel and a female arguing on the side of the Hwy 11 N, in front of the Old Avaco just after 10AM. McDaniels proceeded to strike the female, so the witness notified the Sheriff’s Department. By the time officers arrived directly at the location, McDaniel had fled. The female (unreleased) was reported to have suffered minor injuries during the domestic dispute. The woman stated McDaniel was from California, and that she and he had been staying at Steven’s Trailer Park, where the domestic dispute occurred.

Sergeant Hailey Smith, Public Information Officer and Department Training Sergeant with Dade County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to the Mountain Valley Independent that McDaniel was spotted again at 3PM by a UPS driver; who flagged down an officer and pointed her toward the railroad tracks. A deputy spotted the suspect walking north at a great distance ahead of her on the tracks and gave pursuit. According to authorities, McDaniel grabbed an unknown brown object from his backpack, which caused the officer to drawn down her weapon. The suspect discarded the unidentified object, then discarded the bag and continued to flee into a nearby cornfield, where the deputy lost visual. The bag was later recovered by officers; it contained alleged drug paraphernalia and identification confirming McDaniel’s identity. The suspicious object that was pulled out of the bag has yet to be found.

Sheriff Ray Cross requested K-9 units respond to the location. The dogs hit on a trail, but lost it at a creek bed. A drone unit was called in, but after some searching, the area was deemed too large for the drone to be effective. “Deputies remained in the area for several hours attempting to locate the subject, yet were unsuccessful,” stated Sergeant Smith.

Smith went on to state how helpful the community of New England was during the investigation. “The people of the area that came out to support our officers were wonderful. They provided cold water and sat with the deputy who had made pursuit in the heat. The Sheriff’s Department is very thankful for their help.

Michael Christopher McDaniel remains at large and is wanted for Domestic Violence and Fleeing charges through the Dade County Sheriff’s Department. He is 35 years old.

by Orey Yates