UPDATE: Sonny Neal caught in Whitfield County - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Sonny Neal caught in Whitfield County

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(WRCB) – The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office confirms to Channel 3 that double homicide suspect Sonny Neal has been arrested after a week on the run.

Neal was found in the woods in the same area of Varnell where officers conducted a massive manhunt Wednesday.

GBI Agent Dan Sims tells Channel Neal peacefully surrendered in farm field off Tunnel Hill-Varnell Rd after being called out of woods. He was arrested near the site where he was spotted Wednesday, sparking a manhunt.

Neal surrendered without incident and asked for a doctor. He is being taken to a local hospital to be checked out and then will be booked in the Whitfield County Jail.

Neal's daughter Miranda was at the scene, as he left in custody she shouted to him "we love you, we'll stand by you."

Agent Sims won't say whether somebody may have helped Neal hide following the murders. Sims also refused to disclose anything Neal may have said after the arrest, saying it would be "part of the investigation."

Neal was spotted around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday by a couple who recognized him from the Dalton salon he and his wife ran. Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood, who called the sighting "99.9 percent accurate", confirmed that Neal was spotted near a home that has a "family connection".

Law enforcement agencies responded almost immediately, Wednesday afternoon, to the Dollar General near Highway 2 and Highway 201 after he was spotted heading into the nearby woods.

Nearly a dozen different agencies, including DNR, GBI, GSP, Whitfield County Sheriff, and Varnell Police have all teamed up to assist in the search.  They have brought in tracking dogs and helicopters, including one equipped with infrared sensors to use at night.

Neal is accused of killing his wife, Jessica, and her grandfather, Donald Shedd, last Thursday.

A neighbor told Channel 3 that a nine-year-old girl came to his house around 7:00 a.m. last Thursday and said, "My Papaw's dead and I can't find my Mom or Dad" The neighbor called 911 immediately.

Neighbor Wayne Warnack said he saw a man's body just inside the doorway leading from the garage, with blood "everywhere".

Jessica's father said the pair have had recent troubles and that she was planned to divorce Sonny.

The couple worked together at the Dalton salon Dazzle, which Jessica co-owned. Jessica also was studying to be a dental technician.

Details as they develop on WRCBtv.com.

MORE: Search continues for murder suspect after gruesome murders

MORE: Family and friends say marriage and money problems were motives

 

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