A Sylvania man is now behind bars accused in a cold case rape of a teenage girl. The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force says he has been on the run since 2005 and was arrested early Tuesday morning.
Members of NOVFTF Toledo Division arrested Cheeley Hunter, 54, on an eight-year-old arrest warrant for three counts of raping a 14-year-old girl in Baldwin County, Alabama back in 2003. Hunter was arrested and charged with rape in Alabama, but fled the state before his trial and has been on the run since 2005.
The NOVFTF received information that Hunter may possibly be in the local area, although his exact whereabouts were uncertain. Through extensive research of numerous databases, NOVFTF members determined Hunter was living at a residence on Central Avenue in Sylvania.
Around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, the NOVFTF surrounded the residence and announced their presence, ordering Hunter to open the door.
"We told him that we were coming inside the residence, that we'd seen him, and that he needed to open up the door. He refused to open up the door. The fugitive task force - we forced entry into the residence and arrested Mr. Hunter," said U.S. Marshal Dep. Christopher Hodge.
Once U.S. Marshals in Toledo got the information of where Hunter was, it only took a day and a half to have him in custody.
"This is a classic case of the perseverance and determination of the U.S. Marshals to apprehend fugitives for serious crimes, "said U.S. Marshal Peter Elliot. "Hunter was on the run for eight years and was found several states away. This truly is a case of 'you can run all you want, but you can't hide.'"
Hunter's criminal history includes convictions for narcotics and burglary.
He is currently in the Lucas County Jail awaiting extradition to Alabama.
Those who work down the street from Hunter's residence say they are both shocked and thankful he is off the street.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a known fugitive is encouraged to contact the U.S. Marshal's Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4-WANTED or text keyword "WANTED" and the tip to TIP411. Tipsters may remain anonymous and a cash reward may be available.
View the task force's "Dangerous Dozen," which is updated monthly and currently includes two men from the Toledo area.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a fugitive is encouraged to contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or text keyword "WANTED" with the tip to TIP411.More >>
Mugshots of wanted criminals listed as the "Fugitive of the Week". Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of a fugitive is encouraged to contact the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4WANTED or text keyword "WANTED" with the tip to TIP411. More >>