Charleston, W.Va. – Those seeking justice for the missing police K-9, Chase, expressed relief today when they learned that the dog’s handler was arrested in Georgia.
Marcus Charles Dudley, 26, had earlier been charged with six misdemeanors in the K-9’s disappearance. He was indicted by a Kanawha County grand jury this month after reporting Chase missing in April.
Chase, who had finished police training in March, was assigned to the Chapmanville Police Department. Dudley was an officer there and kept the K-9 at his South Charleston home.
Dudley was indicted by a Kanawha County grand jury on three counts of falsely reporting an emergency, two counts of making false statements and obstructing an officer and one count of animal cruelty.
According to Kanawha County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Debra Rusnak, Dudley was arrested “without incident” after Henry County, Georgia deputies searched his father’s home there.
He is being held in the Henry County Jail in McDonough, about 30 miles from Atlanta. There is no bond.
After Dudley’s arrest, social media sites erupted with posts from those who had been following the story. Rusnak held a brief press conference at 1:30 p.m.
“We were informed by members of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department … this morning that a warrant was executed on the residence of Marcus Dudley’s father and that Marcus Dudley was apprehended without incident,” said Rusnak.
Dudley did not appear for his arraignment last week in Charleston. Sources said he claimed he could not get from Georgia to West Virginia.
Judge Louis Bloom called that a “pretty shallow excuse.” and eventually issued a capias bench warrant for Dudley’s arrest.
Rusnak praised the public for their help with the case.
The Assistant Prosecutor said the office had received “voluminous amounts of calls” concerning the K-9’s disappearance.
“The public has done a very good job coming forward with information,” Rusnak said. “The South Charleston Police Department has received a lot of information and frankly, they’ve done a very good investigation. We’re ready to move forward with what they’ve brought us.”
Several law enforcement agencies continue to search for Chase. Investigators have not said if they believe the K-9 is alive.
This is a developing story that will be updated as events warrant.