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Man wanted in armed robbery surrenders

By By Marianne Todd/The Meridian Star
Jan. 26, 2001
A suspect in a Suqualena armed robbery turned himself in Thursday night, but law officers are continuing their search for another man wanted in the kidnapping and assault of a Meridian woman.
Meridian police said a warrant for kidnapping was issued Thursday for 39-year-old Earl Junior McClelland, a man police describe as armed and dangerous.
Lt. Lee Currie said McClelland is accused of kidnapping a 31-year-old woman from Cedar Bend Apartments, forcing her into his car and assaulting her in a wooded area before driving her down back roads and across state lines into Alabama.
Currie said McClelland allegedly released the victim on Wednesday after holding her for two days against her will.
Sexual assault charges will also be sought in the case, but Currie said police must first determine where the assault took place.
If officials determine the assault took place in Lauderdale County, sheriff's officials will pursue assault charges. If the assault took place in Alabama, officials there will be responsible for charges, Currie said.
Currie said police do not know where McClelland is living, so they are asking for assistance from the community to find him. McClelland is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds.
Officials said because McClelland is considered armed and dangerous, anyone with information about his whereabouts should call 911. Anyone with other information should call CrimeStoppers at 490-2746 or 485-1860.
Meanwhile, Maj. Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department said 22-year-old Darrell Chris Aikens surrendered about 9 p.m. Thursday. A bond hearing is expected today for Aikens, suspected in the Tuesday armed robbery of the Old Tyme Grocery Store in Suqualena.
Calhoun said Aikens turned himself in after hearing from several sources that sheriff's deputies were looking for him. A warrant had already been issued for his arrest on an armed robbery charge.
Calhoun said deputies were able to identify Aikens on Wednesday through information obtained from the community.
Marianne Todd is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at mtodd@themeridianstar.com.

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