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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2004


Manhunt nabs elusive burglar

Three-day search ends in surprise capture

Express Staff Writer

After two weeks of burglary reports from cabins north of Ketchum, Blaine County law officers apprehended a man police said was armed and hiding in the woods in the Baker Creek drainage.

The heavily wooded area is northwest of the Sawtooth National Recreation headquarters.

Ryan Hill

Ryan Hill, 28, of Kimberly, was initially being sought in connection with a burglary reported last week at his former father-in-lawís cabin. The search resulting in his capture took three days.

Police were operating under an arrest warrant for burglary, but, because several guns, including a .357 magnum handgun, were reported missing, police believed Hill was armed.

Upon his capture, police recovered a 22-caliber rifle, two double-barreled shotguns and a "black powder rifle," Femling said. The handgun has not been found.

Hillís activities caused police to check 35 cabins, 19 of which had been burglarized in the Baker, Spruce, Anderson and Newman Creek drainages north of Ketchum, Femling said.

Hill is being charged with 19 counts of burglary, but other possible counts could surface, Femling said. "I want to commend the job the team did to contain this individual."

Femling said fluorescent signs were posted on Highway 75 north of Ketchum warning hikers and bikers that police were searching for a man suspected of burglarizing cabins in the Boulder View and Spruce Creek areas. Warnings were also broadcast on the radio throughout the day.

"It was a dynamic assault on the area," Femling said. "We put a net around the area."

Femling said it was difficult to find Hill because he was careful to cover his tracks and the break-ins were spread over a large area. Several of the burglarized cabins had broken windows.

As police were searching for Hill, police were alerted at the incident command center that someone had recently broken into a cabin owned by M.B. Davis near Baker Creek.

"He had just left," Femling said. "He was cooking on the stove. Cheese was still melting on a hamburger ... we made a hasty containment and cleared five cabins."

The concentrated search uncovered Hillís footprints in a snowfield, and three officers found him under a heavily foliated tree near Baker Creek.

They apprehended Hill, Femling said, "Because of the noise of Baker Creek. He never heard them (the officers)."

Hill, who is being held in the county jail in Hailey, was expected to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon. He is also in violation of his parole, Femling said. Hill has previously served time in the Idaho State Penitentiary in Boise for grand theft.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.