Major search underway for dangerous suspect in Hardee - WFLA News Channel 8

Major search underway for dangerous suspect in Hardee

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HARDEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

    A major search effort is underway in Hardee County for 21 year old Eleno Suarez who authorities say fired on deputies in Polk County during a police chase on Saturday near Frostproof.

  Suarez was spotted today in an orange grove in Hardee County and authorities have set up a command post on State Road 64 east of Wauchula to track him down. Deputies from Polk, Hardee and Highlands County are involved in the search along with Lake Wales Police and Fish and Wildlife officers. They are combing through the orange groves in that area and also have a police helicopter aiding in the search.  Hardee County Chief Deputy Major Randy Dey says he hopes this search ends peacefully.  "The people that was in the car with him say that he threw the weapon away."  Said the Major.  "But we're still not taking chances. "

   Suarez, who is wanted as a suspect in an armed home invasion and robbery-carjacking, was almost captured on Saturday when he was spotted in the area of the Town Star convenience store at the intersection of US Highway 27 and US Highway 98 in Frostproof. He and five other individuals fled that area in a Ford Focus. Polk deputies attempted a traffic stop but Suarez, who was driving, lead them on a chase, firing multiple gun shots at Polk deputies. Suarez lost control of the Focus in a rural area near State Road 64 and US 98 in Hardee County.  Deputies apprehended his five passengers but Suarez fled on foot.

    Investigators say Jesus Jaramillo was also involved in that home invasion and robbery-carjacking.  Family members say he is Suarez's brother and the home they're accused of breaking into is another relative's.  Christa Wineberger is Jaramillo's fiance.  She has a baby with Jaramillo and another on the way.  She says she just wants her child's father, and uncle, to turn themselves in.  "I want them to do whatever is safe."  Said Wineberger.  "Whatever is going to make them safe. So my child doesn't have to be without his father and my unborn baby doesn't have to be without his father and uncle. I want them to do whatever will make them safe. "

   Suarez has now been charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and a five thousand dollar reward is being offered by the Polk County Sheriff's Office for information leading to his capture. Stay with us for updates on the search.

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