A vigilant deputy was shopping at a grocery store in Wilmington, North Carolina, on May 6 when he recognized a dangerous fugitive and took decisive action.
Off-duty New Haven County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Bryant thought the man at the Food Lion looked familiar and observed him until he realized that he recognized 63-year-old Kenneth Alan Stout from a wanted poster for first-degree murder. He immediately notified authorities.
Stout was suspected of murdering a woman named Barbara Baker in West Virginia nearly a month prior. According to police, Baker’s body was found in her vehicle in the Beartown area on April 1. The U.S. Marshals Service had also been actively searching for Stout, releasing a wanted poster and offering a $15,000 reward for any information leading to his capture.
Stout, known for his violent history, was believed to be seeking employment as a handyman or attempting to exploit Black churches while on the run. Although officials had lost track of him in South Carolina, he was finally apprehended approximately 375 miles away from the West Virginia crime scene more than a month after the homicide, thanks to the off-duty deputy.
The arrest occurred outside the Food Lion grocery store after the deputy called 9-1-1 and assisted deputies from neighboring Pender County in locating the fugitive. Stout attempted to flee on foot but was taken into custody and transported to jail. As of May 6, he was awaiting extradition back to West Virginia, according to officials.
Details regarding the homicide case were scarce during the news conference held on April 28 by McDowell County Sheriff James Muncy. However, he did mention that Stout had been in a “domestic relationship” with Baker.