Texas manhunt continues for Dyer
BY SCOTT RAINS
STAFF WRITER SRAINS@LAWTON-CONSTITUTION.COM
The hunt for Charles Allan Dyer now includes two southern Texas state parks.
Investigators received a report of a man matching Dyer’s description
knocking on doors Monday in the Wallis, Texas, area seeking a ride to
Houston, according to information provided by Stephens County Sheriff
Wayne McKinney. Investigators are searching the area near Texas 36 along
railroad tracks, which stretch all the way to Rosenberg, with the
search party fanning out to cover more ground. The area is near Brazos
Bend State Park.
Federal investigators were first led to heavily
wooded areas near Houston on Saturday evening after the reported
sighting of the fugitive. The Sealy News reported that searches were
initiated in San Felipe, east of Sealy, with the focus being on the
Stephen F. Austin State Park. Campers were evacuated from campgrounds as
SWAT and FBI teams searched the heavily wooded park area. The park area
remained closed through Sunday.
By Sunday the search became
focused in and around Sealy to its west. The FBI issued a statement that
information led investigators to the Sealy area, but did not elaborate
Dyer, 31, has been missing since Aug. 15 when he failed
to appear in Stephens County District Court for his second trial on a
charge of child sexual abuse and concealing stolen property charges; a
mistrial was declared during the first trial in April. A federal warrant
for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution has since been issued for
Dyer has claimed that the assault charge is part of a
conspiracy against him. Deborah Swan, a woman whom law enforcement
earlier said might with him, believes Dyer.
Law enforcement and
Swan have confirmed that she is the 39-year-old woman who owns a 2000
silver GMC Yukon identified in a “be on the lookout” ( BOLO) message
given to law enforce-ment last week.
“I do not know why she would have been removed from the BOLO,” District Attorney Jason Hicks said Monday.
Woman calls newspaper
Swan contacted The Lawton Constitution Sunday evening while, she
said, she was returning home — alone — from Florida to Texas.
Swan said she should be removed from the BOLO and said FBI and other law
enforcement agents rousted her Thursday morning while on vacation in
Destin, Fla. En route back to her home in Spring, Texas, which is about
30 miles north of Houston, Swan said law enforcement should know by now
that Dyer is not with her.
“They can follow me all they want,” Swan said. “They’re not going to find Charles Dyer here.”
Attempts to contact Dyer have been unsuccessful, Swan said.
Swan said she first learned of Dyer via his online postings — Dyer’s
You Tube channel offered videos that linked him to the American Militia
and Patriot movement. Swan said he gained a reputation for his speeches
given before Tea Party and Oath Taker audiences.
“He’s kind of the poster boy for the militia world,” Swan said. “Well, he used to be.”
Dyer is an independent affiliate of the militia network, or a “lone
wolf,” Swan said, and he trained with her group, Texas Militia. She said
she became a supporter after getting to know Dyer and learning the
evidence against him. She has distributed photographs of the DNA
evidence in the assault case online and has faxed pleas to re-evaluate
the case to Gov. Mary Fallin, McKinney and Hicks.
“I knew it was a
risk supporting him publicly, but this is about being truthful,” Swan
said. “I completely believe this guy; he’s totally innocent.”
“But, I don’t know why they pulled me into all this,” she said.
Swan agrees with Dyer’s allegations that he is being set up. She
thinks he is being pursued vigorously because he wouldn’t work among the
militia community as a law enforcement informant. The definition of a
domestic terrorist now includes a larger portion of the militia network,
Swan said, including herself, and she believes she could be targeted
“I think he spoke just a little too loud,” Swan said. “Everything this man speaks of, I feel the same way.”
Swan said she believes that Dyer is being used as an example “to make
us look like we’re nuts.” She and her militia group have been included
in the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of domestic terrorists — “That
means you’ve been heard,” she said.
With the Sept. 11
anniversary nearing, Swan believes Dyer is also being set up. Known for
his skull face half-mask worn in many videos, Dyer has given “the
machine” a perfect foil, Swan said.
“What a beautiful setup; what
a great strawman they get to set up,” Swan said. “I believe this guy is
going to be blamed for something big.”