The death of Michael Dale Vance, Jr., in a hailstorm of state trooper bullets put an end to the nearly week-long manhunt spurred by the shooting of two Wellston police officers and the murder of a Luther couple. However, the case is far from closed, as law enforcement officers recognized that Vance, who had been injured in the Wellston shootout, must have received help from someone along the way.
In fact, video footage Vance uploaded to Facebook following the initial shootings seemed to indicate that the murder suspect was thanking an anonymous person for his or her assistance.
Now, investigators have arrested three people accused of aiding and abetting the fugitive in the aftermath of the Wellston shooting and Luther murders.
On Friday--before Vance was killed in a shootout with Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers--the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office arrested Danny L. Roach, 34, of Oklahoma City. Reports say Roach admitted to sheriff's investigators that he had helped Vance after the fugitive came to his home in Oklahoma City late on October 23, the night of the shootings, carjackings, and murders that triggered the state's first Blue Alert.
Vance reportedly told Roach to look at Facebook to find out what was going on. Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel says Roach admitted to investigators that he provided Vance with bandages to treat his injuries sustained in the gunfight with Wellston police. He also reportedly admitted to providing the fugitive with an AK-47 assault rifle that "would give Vance a better tactical advantage due to its shorter length" and ammunition. Roach then served as lookout, letting Vance know when it was safe to leave Roach's home after a police car drove by.
On Monday, law enforcement also arrested April Marie Harden, 36, a woman who lived with Roach and was allegedly present when Vance arrived. She is accused of helping to bandage his injuries.
A third suspect, Reginald Laday Moore, 33, was arrested on Tuesday. Investigators say Moore was storing the AK-47 Roach gave to Vance at Roach's home, and that he gave Roach permission to give the gun to the fugitive. Additionally, he is accused of bringing needle-nosed pliers to the Roach home in an effort to remove the bullet from Vance's shoulder.
April Harden is held in the Oklahoma County jail on two complaints of being an accessory to murder.
Reginald Moore is being held on two complaints of shooting with intent to kill and two complaints of being an accessory to murder.
Danny Roach is held on multiple criminal complaints, including four counts of being an accessory to a felony, four counts of possession of a firearm after prior felony conviction, and two counts of shooting with intent to kill.
All three suspects are held without bond in the Oklahoma County jail.
Image credit: brian.ch