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Man wanted in Iowa, Indianapolis for escape

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Richard Ray Starnes
Photo submitted Richard Ray Starnes

A man who was sleeping in a tent along the Flatrock River and hanging around a local church was arrested after a Columbus man learned through an Internet research that the man was wanted for escape in Iowa.

Richard Ray Starnes, 52, of Ellettsville, was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. Friday along the People Trail between Mill Race and Noblitt parks, Columbus Police Lt. Matt Myers said.

Starnes was wanted for escape in both Iowa and Indianapolis. Additionally, Myers said Starnes also was wanted on burglary charges in Knox County.

The caller told police he was informed by a fellow church member that Starnes was staying in a makeshift shelter near the two city parks, Myers said.

When Capt. Mike Richardson and Patrolman Greg Ross found Starnes near his tent, he gave the officers a several false names, Myers said.

Myers said the officers also had information that the fugitive had a missing finger on his right hand, as did the man picked up between the two Columbus parks.

Starnes was booked into the Bartholomew County jail at 3:26 p.m. Friday. Besides the three out-of-county warrants, he’s also charged locally with false informing.

He remained in jail Sunday without bond.

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