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Law enforcement worked overnight as they continued searching for 21-year-old Jordan M. Roepke, who was last spotted on the west edge of Oakdale between the Elkhorn River and Ag Agronomy at around 1:20 a.m. Monday.
Antelope County Sheriff Bob Moore and Neligh Police Chief Mike Wright spent two hours shining spotlights and thermal imaging cameras up and down Highway 275, canvassing ditches, the Elkhorn River, wooded areas, the Cedar Creek bed and other ares in hopes of finding Roepke. At 3:15 a.m., both officers returned to Neligh without Roepke.
The manhunt began around 2:45 p.m. Sunday when Roepke fled on foot after being approached by officers outside of the Antelope County Law Enforcement Center. Moore said Roepke was a passenger in a vehicle with a female who was at the Antelope County Jail for a video visitation with an inmate.
"Officers observed someone they believed was someone they had a warrant for, so they came out the door to confront him. When they opened the door, he bolted," Moore said.
The taser was deployed, although it unclear if the taser struck Roepke. Moore said Roepke ran across the lawn toward the south. He was wearing a grey sweatshirt and jeans.
"They had not confirmed his identity," Moore said. "When they went out to have contact with him to see if he was that person, he bolted and the officers did say that when they were closer to him, they confirmed it was him," Moore said.
The Sheriff’s Department, Nebraska State Patrol and Neligh Police Department all immediately began searching for Roepke, who was wanted for having leaving the jurisdiction of the court without permission, according to the Department of Corrections. It's unclear at this time if he had any other arrest warrants.
After fleeing police, Roepke was spotted near the Antelope County Courthouse lawn at 3:23 p.m. as officers in vehicles and ATVs searched the downtown east side of Neligh for him.
Officers continued canvasing the east side of Neligh, knocking on doors and asking people if they had seen him. Several sightings were reported between 8:30 and and 9:25 p.m., including a Neligh woman who said he approached her asking to use her telephone.
The woman called 911, and a perimeter was set along 4th Street as law enforcement searched the area. The perimeter was lifted around 9:55 p.m., but officers continued watching the area. At about 11 p.m., a motorist reported seeing a man matching Roepke's description attempting to flag down traffic near the Elkhorn River between Neligh and Oakdale.
Members of the Sheriff’s Department, Nebraska State Patrol and Neligh Police Department spent about an hour searching the river area, along with Spud's Trucking, to no avail. About an hour after that search ended, Mike Flood of News Channel Nebraska spotted someone matching Roepke's description walking in the north ditch along Highway 275 between the Elkhorn River and Oakdale, across from Ag Agronomy.
Flood immediately called 911 and Sheriff Moore and Chief Wright responded to search the area. The two law enforcement leaders spent another two hours canvassing the area before ending that search around 3:15 a.m.
Roepke is 6-1, 120 pounds, brown eyes and black hair. Moore said Roepke has ties to several counties, including Madison where he was last arrested. In June 2016, Roepke was sentenced to 2-4 years in the Nebraska Department of Corrections on burglary (felony), assault third degree (misdemeanor) and disturbing the peace (misdemeanor). On Jan. 4, Roepke was released on parole.
The public is asked to call 911 if they spot him and are warned NOT to approach him.