Crime Stoppers: Horton wanted in Walker Co. hit and run
A warrant has been issued for 27-year-old Mitchell Horton of Chattanooga. Investigators say he was the driver in a deadly hit-and-run in Walker County on Tuesday. Help locate him and earn up to $1,000 Crime Stoppers reward.
It was 23-and-a half hours of investigative work by state and local agencies and the power of social media that led to a press conference Wednesday. Walker County Sheriff Steve Wilson said the public's sympathies were accompanied by outrage over the hit-and-run killing of Horace Cribbs, and their information led to Mitchell Taylor Horton.
"It's just a matter of time," he said. "And he can make it easy for us or, you know, we can work to get him."
Investigators say Horton was the driver of a Hyundai Sonata which sped off North Marble Top Road in Chickamauga early Tuesday, striking and fatally injuring the 58-year-old man as he worked in a yard.
"He struck a fence, and then crossed two driveways, and then reached the victim that was in the yard," Cpl. Scotty Smith with the Georgia State Patrol's Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team (SCRT) explained. "There was clear evidence on the scene that there was no breaking involved."
Horton was fingered as the suspect thanks to a number of agencies working through the night, and a full court press from local media and the public on social media.
"The owner of the car had let a friend borrow the car over the weekend, and he did not return it Monday," Cpl. Smith said. "He saw the news report, identified that was his car, and contacted Chattanooga police."
Another person spotted the car under a tarp behind her home. "And this person on Kristen Drive is alarmed that the car is there, so within 15 minutes, we get two different calls, one to Chattanooga [and] one to Walker County," Sheriff Wilson added.
Her neighbors were shaken, as well.
"It's terrible," Haydne Cross said. "I live in this subdivision and, you know, I can't believe somebody would do something like that, hit somebody and kill them and not (stop). You know? Man up and turned yourself in."
The woman allowed the GBI to get information from her mobile phone to obtain an arrest warrant for Horton.
"We have an agent in this area who has the high technology training being able to download the cell phone information," Greg Ramey, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge from the Calhoun Regional Office added. So, it's just a good cumulative effort. This is what we're supposed to do in law enforcement: help everybody out and make a quick resolution of this thing."
The clock is ticking for 27-year-old Mitchell Taylor Horton. Your tip on where he is can safely get him into custody and offer some closure to the grieving family of Horace Cribbs.
"He could run, but he can't run forever," the sheriff advised. "So, my advice would be to come turn yourself in. Let's get this over with and let the judicial system process start working."
Horton is also known to have had a driver's license from Meigs County, in Decatur, TN. So, he could be anywhere from North Georgia to Hamilton County, Sequatchie County or Meigs County, too. Up to $1,000 reward cash is waiting for you if you can help locate him.
Call Crime Stoppers: 423-698-3333
We will never ask your name.