Two people who led authorities on a chase over two western Nebraska highways and, eventually, through pastureland, remain on the loose.
The Nebraska State Patrol says a man and woman ditched their vehicle and escaped on foot after being tracked both by two private airplanes and then a helicopter flown by the patrol.
The NSP has made a tentative identification of the driver as 30-year-old Ryan Riddle of Greeley, CO, through identification found in the black Subaru. The woman has not been identified.
According to NSP, a trooper attempted to pull the SUV over for speeding on Highway 385 on the west side of Alliance Thursday morning. The driver refused to pull over. The trooper gave chase as the vehicle sped east of Alliance on Highway 2. The vehicle then left the roadway and headed into a pasture in a northeasterly direction.
Troopers and Box Butte County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the vehicle through the pasture, but lost sight of it. A Box Butte County deputy found the vehicle hidden in a tree row. When he approached it, it took off through pastures, again in a northeasterly direction.
A private pilot spotted the vehicle in the rugged terrain northeast of Alliance. He lost contact when the plane ran low on fuel and he had to return to refuel.
A second private pilot spotted the vehicle, this time about 20 miles northeast of Alliance in the Sand Hills. It appears the SUV became disabled and the two occupants fled on foot, heading north.
A Nebraska State Patrol Aviation Division Helicopter then took over the aerial search, until darkness forced the search to be suspended.
The car is described as a 1998 black Subaru, abandoned in a ravine just south of the Niobrara River in Sheridan County.
Evidence found in the vehicle lead troopers to believe the driver was Riddle, described as a white male, 6’1” tall, 170 lbs., with brown hair and blue eyes. The NSP reports Riddle is wanted on numerous active misdemeanor warrants out of Colorado. The female passenger has not been identified.
The Nebraska State Patrol will continue its investigation.
Area residents are being asked to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious activity or individuals to 911.