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Police search for man who escaped Ohio Department of Natural Resources custody in Clermont County

Cristian VanWinkle
Posted at 7:05 AM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 19:08:48-04

BATAVIA TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Police are searching for a man they say escaped Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) custody Tuesday night.

A spokesperson for the department said officers conducted a traffic stop on Christian VanWinkle, of Ripley, around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at East Fork State Park. When they discovered he had outstanding warrants, he was taken into custody.

According to the Clermont County Sheriff's Office, Vanwinkle has four outstanding warrants for violation of a protection order, aggravated trespassing, criminal damaging, and failure to appear for numerous bench warrants.

While being transported, VanWinkle escaped from the vehicle near the intersection of Bauer and 32 in Clermont County. He fled on foot. A spokesperson for the ODNR said he was last seen near Mercy Health Clermont Hospital in Batavia Township before getting away in a stolen vehicle.

Chief Deputy Christopher Stratton with the Clermont County Sheriff's Office said they are investigating a car theft that happened at Papa John's Tuesday night. Stratton said a white 2008 Toyota Camry was stolen but later found at East Fork Crossing. He said the car wasn't damaged and no items were stolen. Stratton said he can't confirm VanWinkle stole the car, but he said VanWinkle is their primary suspect.

Clermont County Dispatch said ODNR requested their assistance at around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

This is a developing story and will be updated once more information becomes available.

Cristian VanWinkle
Cristian VanWinkle

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