KALER — The Graves County Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday night the capture of a wanted person in the same area where a search for a missing woman was ongoing. 

In a news release, Graves County Sheriff Jon Hayden said searchers were combing an area near the Kaler community for the second consecutive day Tuesday as part of the investigation into the disappearance of Samantha Sperry, who disappeared in the Kaler Bottoms area more than a year ago. 

During Tuesday’s activity, an underground bunker was located that was occupied by someone hiding inside, identified as Earnest Dean Hendrickson of the Symsonia area of Graves County. Hayden said he became a fugitive in November and was on parole for numerous drug-related offenses, as well as others. Those offenses occurred in several counties. 

A parole warrant was issued and stated that he violated numerous conditions. 

Hayden went on to say that after the arrest warrant was issued in November, law enforcement officials attempted to locate Hendrickson at a residence on Bell Road near the Marshall County line. The residence belongs to a close relative and is located several hundred yards from the wooded area where the underground bunker was discovered Tuesday. 

Two-way radio equipment was found in the living quarters and is believed to have been the method of communication Hendrickson used with people at the Bell Road residence for reasons related to his attempt to evade capture, Hayden said. He added that a second underground bunker was also located a short distance from the first one. He also said it was in this area that a large quantity of meth was found hidden in woods several months ago. 

Hendrickson was taken to the Graves County Jail after interviews with several law agencies. 

Recommended for you