Search for two fugitives centers on 50-acre site

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

ALREAD, Ark. -- Law officers concentrated on 50 acres in the Ozark National Forest on Tuesday, seeking two men wanted for wounding a trooper who was trying to serve warrants on them. Convicted felon Mark Holsombach, 49, and William J. Frazier, 28, who lived in a makeshift cabin off a dirt road, became the target of the search after a shot fired from their hut Monday morning hit trooper Charlie Edmonson in the arm.

Police said they were focusing on the rugged 50 acres after scouring 200 to 300 acres Monday.

Officers initially believed they had the men isolated in their 100-square-foot hut in the Ozark Mountains of north central Arkansas, but the men's disappearance went undetected for 10 hours after shots were exchanged.

"We've got these people who aggressively attacked a law enforcement officer," said Trooper Donnie Belew, a spokesman for the Arkansas State Police. "You can't just walk up and say 'Hey, here we are."'

The search then resumed Tuesday in heavily forested mountains as 37 officers fanned out amid the woods and bluffs.

The men lived in a handmade log cabin with a tin roof on the side of a hill at the end of a dirt road. The cabin has one window with no covering and a front door with a padlock. There are several structures on the property, including another cabin on a bluff above main house.

The yard has two trashed-out Datsun pickup trucks, piles of logs scattered around and private property signs. There's another hand-carved sign that reads: "Not whosoever has the most is rich but whosoever needs least."

State police went to the men's hut early Monday morning to serve a bench warrant for Holsombach for possession of firearms, a Florida arrest warrant that included a theft charge against Frazier, and a search warrant for the hut.

New warrants were issued Monday and Tuesday, alleging attempted capital murder and charging Frazier with felony possession of a firearm that has traveled in interstate commerce.

Officers also wanted to talk to the two about the disappearance of Theodore R. Throneberry, 46, and his wife Ann Ryberg Throneberry, 45.

Throneberry was last seen in February when he left a pipefitting job in Illinois and headed for his home near Alread. His wife has been missing from their home since March 1.

Police said Holsombach and Frazier had been seen earlier standing in the Throneberrys' front yard, near the men's home. The men were the last people seen with the woman before she disappeared.

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