Suspect Dies After Jumping into River in Pike County Theft Investigation

Kentucky State Police Post 9 Pikeville investigated a theft that occurred at Aflex in Pike County on Thursday, January 10, 2019. Just after 6am, Post 9 received a complaint from an Appalachian Tobacco employee that a person had broken into their vehicle and stole a purse and possibly other items from inside the vehicle. The investigating Trooper reviewed security footage and identified a possible suspect as Justin Hatfield of Delbarton, West Virginia. The Trooper made contact with Hatfield at his residence and discovered evidence indicating that he had in fact taken the purse. During the arrest, the Trooper was assaulted and a struggle ensued, allowing Hatfield to flee the scene and jump into a river. Emergency personnel were called in to assist in a search. Hatfield was located on the West Virginia side of the river on the railroad tracks and was transported to Williamson Memorial Hospital for treatment of exposure to the elements. He passed away around 2:40pm. His body was taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for autopsy. Further details will be released as they develop.

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