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Suspect in PDL chase is unregistered sex offender

PONCE DE LEON – A Crestview man who led Holmes County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a chase Saturday, July 10, was later identified as an unregistered sex offender. 

HCSO, along with Department of Children and Families, responded to a Bull Road residence in reference to an abuse case out of Walton County. That case involved a subject identified as Eric Merriweather.  While DCF was speaking to the children, deputies learned Merriweather was a sex offender who was registered as living in Okaloosa County. 

After speaking with Merriweather and other occupants of the residence, deputies discovered Merriweather had been living at the Bull Road residence for the last couple of months; however, he had failed to register with HCSO as a sex offender as required by law. 

Deputies advised Merriweather that he was under arrest, but he fled on foot when deputies  attempted to cuff him, leading law enforcement on a chase that resulted in the deployment of K-9 units from both Holmes and Walton Correctional Institutions. The trail was eventually lost; however, Merriweather was taken into custody just hours later when he was discovered hiding at the residence on Bull Road.

Merriweather icharged with failure to register and escape. Investigation into the abuse case is still ongoing.

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