Manhunt underway after multi-county chase that began in Johnston County, 1 suspect in custody

KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — One of two suspects in a chase that spanned four counties was still at large early Tuesday morning, deputies with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kenneth Earl Piper, 29, of Wilson, is 6 feet tall and 160 pounds with brown dreadlocks and tattoos on his face and above his eyebrows. He has active warrants for possession with intent to sell, manufacture, deliver methamphetamine, possession of LSD and resisting arrest. Other charges are pending from the chase.

Officials said the chase began in Johnston County and stretched through Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties. Piper was wanted by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle Piper was driving ran out of gas and he, along with an unidentified passenger, fled on foot around 5:30 p.m. With the assistance of Kinston Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department, NCSBI and Lenoir County Emergency Services, a wooded area was searched for suspects. Canines and drones were also used.

The unidentified passenger was caught but the search for Piper was called off after 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

It’s believed Piper is in the wooded area near Felix Harvey Parkway, Crestview Subdivision and Hickory Hills Road in the Lenoir County area. Anyone who sees him or has information is asked to call 911 immediately.

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