Updated Friday morning: Authorities today say they captured Steven Wiggins less than 2 miles from where a Dickson County deputy was found fatally shot on Wednesday.
A trooper from the Tennessee Highway Patrol noticed the man near the edge of a woodline on Stitson Road.
"He drew his weapon and ordered the suspect to get on the ground and he was able to take him into custody without any incident," said Lt. Col. Derek Stewart. "There was no use of force application that was needed, he was taken into custody without incident."
Officials said Wiggins was being treated for non-serious injuries at a nearby hospital and would be booked after his release. Photos of Wiggins’ capture show him muddied and with his clothing ripped.
The search for a man accused of killing a Dickson County deputy enters its third day on Friday, with authorities offering more reward money for information — now $46,000 — as they expand the search area for Steven Wiggins, a bald 31-year-old white man with several tattoos.Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said there haven’t been confirmed sightings since the manhunt began Wednesday morning.
“I wouldn’t say it surprises me. (I’m) disappointed, of course, that we don’t have him in custody with everything we’ve checked at this point,” Bledsoe told reporters Thursday afternoon.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) says Dickson County Sgt. Daniel Baker, 32, was responding to a call about a suspicious vehicle around 7 a.m. Wednesday when he stopped checking in with his dispatcher.
Officers tracked his patrol car’s GPS to a wooded area off Bear Creek Valley Road and found Baker dead inside. They then used footage from the body camera Baker was wearing to identify Wiggins.
A neighboring police department had already been searching for Wiggins, after his girlfriend, Erika Castro-Miles, 39, called the police on him in Kingston Springs the night before. According to a police report, Wiggins assaulted Castro-Miles and stole her brown 1998 Saturn — the same car found the next day with bullet holes.
Castro-Miles was arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection to the deputy’s death, with authorities saying she witnessed the fatal shooting.
TBI Acting Director Jason Locke called the murder a “tragic event that has cut to the core of law enforcement officers from across the state and the nation.”
The killing has launched an aggressive search, with federal, state and local officials using K-9 units and helicopters and declaring Wiggins “armed and dangerous.”
The reward for information that can lead authorities to Wiggins increased to $46,000, and now includes funds from Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, the U.S. Marshals, the statewide fraternal order of police and the Dickson County government.
“I sincerely pray that he will get the maximum punishment and our court will be a terror to him for the evil he has done,” said Bledsoe, the sheriff.
“He has the option to do the right thing. People make mistakes and people do things that are terrible, and this is an evil deed that he has done, but now he can show people there’s still something left him in him by turning himself in.”
A procession was held Thursday afternoon as Baker’s body was returned to Dickson after an examination in Nashville.
The 10-year veteran of the force had risen quickly through its ranks and also served on its SWAT team. He leaves behind a wife and daughter.
“Not only has our agency lost a brother, but our community has lost a hero,” Bledsoe said.
A funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church, 2501 US-70, in Dickson. Visitations are scheduled from 2-8 p.m. Monday at the church, and at 10 a.m. Tuesday until the service begins.