BEDFORD, Iowa — A four-day manhunt for an escaped prisoner, who police said shot a sheriff's deputy and stole his patrol car, ended early Tuesday when he was killed by a 71-year-old man he had taken hostage along with his 66-year-old wife, authorities said.
Rodney Eugene Long, 38, of Centerville, was found dead, lying face down in the kitchen of Jerome Mauderly, a retired prison guard. Police said Mauderly fired a fatal shotgun blast at the fugitive.
Authorities said Long escaped from the Clarinda Correctional Facility in southwest Iowa early Friday morning, breaking into the Mauderly home in Bedford, which is 20 miles east of the prison, around 10 p.m. Monday.
They said Long held a semi-automatic weapon on Mauderly and his wife, Carolyn, for four hours. He kept the couple in their bedroom while he wandered the house and used the telephone, The Des Moines Register reported.
At some point, Mauderly managed to get a hold of his shotgun, and he fired one shot at Long, killing him, authorities said. The couple called police around 2 a.m., according to the Register.
Mitch Mortveldt, special agent for the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation,said the couple will not face any charges.
Long was serving time on a burglary charge from June 2012 at the time of his escape. He was first spotted Sunday night walking along a highway. When Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Wyckoff arrived, he was shot twice — once in the arm and once in the abdomen. While the deputy was taking cover, Long stole the deputy's patrol vehicle and left the scene.
A second deputy arrived and picked up Deputy Wyckoff, who was wearing a bullet proof vest that authorities said likely saved his life.
Long then led multiple law enforcement agencies from Iowa and Missouri on a 40-minute chase when more gunfire was exchanged. He crashed the stolen patrol vehicle, fled on foot and managed to elude the police pursuit.
The manhunt intensified immediately, including air surveillance. The main search was suspended at nightfall Monday, with extra state trooper and sheriff's deputies patrols of the area continuing.
Wyckoff was taken by air ambulance on Sunday to an Omaha-area hospital for treatment. He remained hospitalized in stable condition Tuesday, and is expected to make a full recovery.
This wasn’t the first time Long has escaped from custody. In June 2012, he complained of injuries at the Centerville Law Center following his arrest on the burglary charges. He escaped during transportation to a local hospital, but was captured 2 1/2 hours later.
Details for this story were reported by The Daily Iowegian in Centerville, Iowa, and the Des Moines Register.