Local News

June 1, 2012

Manhunt over

Neal caught in Varnell

VARNELL — Zachary Wade said he got an “adrenaline rush” when he saw Adolph Ray “Sonny” Neal — accused of killing Neal’s wife and her grandfather on May 24 — walking quickly and attempting to hide under a willow tree behind the Dollar General store here on Thursday.

“I was looking around because I knew that was the area where they were looking for him,” said Wade, 18, who was riding with his mother to the store to get a gift card. “We had just crossed the (Highway 201) bridge (over the railroad tracks) and I saw a man with a red shirt and blue jeans on walking in the field toward the train tracks. He was trying to hide under that tree so we turned around and he was right there by the tree. I knew it was him.”

Wade said he made the call to 911 at 12:50 p.m. and within minutes officers were at the store.

“He was kinda moving a little fast, but he didn’t seem like a guy who just killed two people — he didn’t seem like he was in that much of a hurry — but he was moving faster than normal,” Wade remembered.

He said when Neal came out of the field, hands cuffed behind his back and “surrounded by around 15 cops,” he appeared to have no emotion.

“His lips were closed and he looked rough, like he was sick,” Wade said. “I heard he was dehydrated. But he was walking straight ahead like he had a goal in mind. He looked very nonchalant.”

Authorities had been searching for Neal for a week for the alleged murders of Jessica Neal, 27, and Don William Shedd, 69, at their Green Springs Road home in the Dawnville community. “Be on the lookout” alerts were issued regionally and nationwide. Neal was taken into custody around 1:10 p.m.

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