Suspects in Collegedale manhunt identified - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Suspects in Collegedale manhunt identified

Posted: Updated:
Basil Walkes Basil Walkes
Cynthia Carter Cynthia Carter

Story by Megan Boatwright
Eyewitness News Reporter

COLLEGEDALE, TN. (WRCB) --  New details on the Collegedale alleged carjacking.

Police say a chase on Little Debbie Parkway Thursday turned into a foot pursuit after officers tried to stop a car speeding out of Suntrust Bank on Apison Pike. 

Officials took a man into custody in some nearby woods.  The woman driving the car was also arrested.  She initially told police she'd been carjacked at gunpoint.  A claim officials now know is false.

There were still many unanswered questions Friday morning, but by early afternoon police learned the suspects were working together to cash forged checks.

"This is Ochs Farm," says Don Whittenburg.  A family farm where you'll find several generations of Whittenburg's family. 

"They made us evacuate before the dogs got here and everything," says his grandson, Remington Whittenburg. 

The 13-year-old admits it was a little scary when police cars swarmed his house Thursday.   

"There were tons of police up there," Remington says.  "We thought they were chasing a bank robber or something." 

At the top of the hill Thursday evening, Remington's grandparents couldn't get back home from the doctor's office.

"The man they were looking for came out of the woods," says Don.  He was yelling and they were yelling at him." 

Basil Walkes is the man police were chasing through the farm Thursday night.  Collegedale Police say by the time they pursued him to the farm from Suntrust Bank on Apison Pike their suspect was tired, cold and wet.  Walkes gave up.

"They had been trying to pass a check," says Collegedale Police Chief Brian Hickman.  "Stolen checks from Woodstock, GA." 

Officials say Walkes and his female accomplice, Cynthia Carter, are both from Atlanta and had worked out a deal.  Walkes would split the proceeds with Carter if she'd help him forge and cash check from a stolen purse. 

The pair hit up banks as they traveled from Atlanta in a stolen rental car.  The police pursuit begin around 5 p.m. Thursday when Carter left Suntrust driving erratically.  That's when Walkes got out and fled on foot. 

Friday as Police searched the area one final time, Remington Whittenburg showed Channel 3 the leaf pile Walkes hid under.

"My cousin and I built the pile the day before," the 13-year-old says.  "We went to my grandparents backyard to sled down the hill.  The leaves built up." 

After the ordeal Grandfather and grandson were finally allowed to go home.  Remington says after all the excitement of the day, getting to sleep Thursday night was a challenge. 

"That's one thing we haven't seen happen here before," Don Whittenburg says. 

Collegedale Police say Carter lied when she first told them she'd been hijacked.  She and Walkes were trying to pass a check at Suntrust when Carter got scared and took off.  They had $600 in the stolen Buick with them.  The car is a Budget rental car from Miami, Fl.  Police are still trying to figure out how it ended up in their possession.





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