Authorities arrested a woman in connection with the death Wedneaday morning of a Tennessee sheriff’s deputy who was shot while responding to a call by a resident about a suspicious car. In a statement Wednesday night, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said it developed information that 38-year-old Erika Castro-Miles had “participated in the incident.”
Castro-Miles, who was already in custody, was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of Dickson County Sgt. Daniel Baker.
She was in the Dickson County Jail. It wasn’t immediately known if she has an attorney.
Authorities were still searching for suspect Steven Joshua Wiggins. The reward for information leading to his arrest was increased to $12,500. H’s considered armed and dangerous.
“Wiggins remains the subject of a Tennessee Blue Alert and has also been added to the state’s Top 10 Most Wanted list,” the TBI said in a statement late Wednesday.
Castro-Miles was named in police reports as Wiggins’ girlfriend, reports CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF-TV.
Wiggins was charged Tuesday with hitting a woman and stealing her car. That woman was identified in a police report as Castro-Miles, the station says.
State, federal and local authorities conducted a manhunt of the area where Baker was fatally shot.
Baker responded to a call about a suspicious car Wednesday, then couldn’t be contacted for some time, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Niland said at a news conference. The deputy’s car was tracked by GPS to a location 2 or 3 miles away, and his body was found in the vehicle.
“He has the option to do the right thing,” Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said of Wiggins. “People make mistakes and people do things that are terrible, and this is an evil deed that he has done. But now he can show people that there’s still something left in him by turning himself in.”
Bledsoe also said Wiggins needs to be held accountable, and said he wants the maximum penalty the law will allow.
The sheriff said Baker was one of the department’s best, a supervisor who had worked his way up to sergeant on patrol during his 10-year stint with the office. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
Bledsoe said his agency has lost a brother, and the community has lost a hero.
“Our heart’s shattered with this,” he said.
Wiggins was identified as the suspect from surveillance video from the area, Niland said.
He was already wanted on charges that he assaulted a woman and stole her car, according to a report from the Kingston Springs Police Department.
The report says a woman told police early Tuesday that Wiggins had slapped her in the face and pulled out some of her hair, then put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she called police. She said he then grabbed her keys and took her car without her permission.
At the time of the report, the woman, 38, told police Wiggins was “doing meth all night and smoking marijuana.” She told police she planned to press charges, the report said.
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