The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office says a K-9 officer working to help track down a wanted man has died. The dog was called “Freckles” and worked with officers out of the Okaloossa Correctional Institution.
On their Facebook page, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said “she was a great dog with a great nose who set the bar high for her counterparts. Well done K9 Freckles. Our sincere sympathies go out to her Handler and the OCI.”
The sheriff’s office posted a video of deputy vehicles honoring freckles with a procession. the post included video and read:
“Rest In Peace Okaloosa Correctional Institution K9 “Freckles”, whose long tenure of loyal service ended today when the 11 year old Beagle apparently overheated during his efforts to help track wanted felon Eric Russell in North Okaloosa County. This vehicle procession took place in K9 Freckles honor today as he was taken back to OCI on Highway 85. #respect #service #loyalty“
“Freckles” was searching for an alleged car thief who’s been running from law enforcement for days.
HERE’S OUR ORIGINAL STORY ON THE MANHUNT
A manhunt in the Laurel Hill area of Okaloosa County has deputies searching for an accused car thief and a school on lockdown. Laurel Hill school is on “modified lockdown” according to deputies as they look for 31-year-old Eric Russell. Deputies say he was spotted for the first time Thursday since ditching a stolen truck near Baker, Fla on May 7th.
According to a press release “Residents are asked to secure their vehicles and equipment. Anyone who spots Russell should call 9-1-1. Do not attempt to approach or make contact with him.
Russell has been on the run since Florida Fish and Wildlife Officers initially attempted to pull him over for a traffic stop May 7th on Highway 90 near the Santa Rosa County line.
Russell fled the scene and later got the truck stuck near railroad tracks off Al Gilman Road. He then ran into the woods and disappeared to avoid capture.
Deputies later learned the truck was reported stolen out of Coffee County Alabama. A handgun was also recovered from inside the vehicle.”