Cookeville mayor says kidnapping suspect captured

Russell Vaughn (Courtesy: Cookeville Police Department)

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton and police have confirmed that Russell Vaughn, the suspect in the abduction of an elderly woman, was taken into custody.

Cookeville police say the crime was first reported at 7 p.m. Wednesday when a citizen alerted officers after she was approached by a car driven by a man with a female passenger.

(Courtesy: Cookeville Police Department)
(Courtesy: Cookeville Police Department)

While attempting to figure out what the man wanted from her, the woman said the 74-year-old female passenger mouthed the words “help me.”

Police said the man, later identified as 34-year-old Vaughn, drove off toward Interstate 40 after the citizen wouldn’t help him with whatever he needed.

Authorities said that although they couldn’t find the car driven by Vaughn, they were given the license plate number and visited the home where it is registered.

Cookeville police say the door of the home was forced open and the homeowner, to whom the car is registered, wasn’t inside.

Police then learned there was a second home burglary one hour before this incident, and the police department worried the female inside the car was abducted during that crime.

The woman was found safe by Cookeville police around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night and police said she was “relatively unharmed.”

K-9 officers search for suspect in Cookeville. (Photo: WKRN)
K-9 officers search for suspect in Cookeville. (Photo: WKRN)

Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton posted to Facebook around 11:30 p.m. that a pursuit of the vehicle ended on Willow Street and Vaughn fled on foot.

A multi-agency search began using K-9 officers and residents were asked to stay in their homes with the doors locked.

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the Cookeville Police Department at 931-526-2125.