Lebanon, Mo., police arrest man, woman featured on crime show

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

LEBANON, Mo. -- A Southwest Missouri police officer's suspicions led to the arrest of two Illinois fugitives who had been featured on the Fox crime show "America's Most Wanted."

Daniel L. Taylor, 23, of Hollister, Mo., and girlfriend Karen A. Harmon, 19, of Chicago, remained Monday in the Laclede County Jail. They waived arraignment on fugitive from justice charges and told the judge they wished to be returned to Illinois. The judge said they should be back in Cook County, Ill., to face charges there within 10 days.

Harmon was being sought in the death of her 4-month-old son, Brett O'Connell. Taylor was wanted on a parole violation out of Cook County. He was paroled April 4 after serving time for a home burglary.

Suspicious actions

Lebanon police officer Robert Buske became suspicious when he spotted Taylor making a telephone call about 3:30 p.m. Sunday from a city gas station. Buske checked the Illinois license plates on the plumber's van Taylor was driving and found they were invalid, Police Chief Sam Mustard said.

Taylor also had the name "DAN" tattooed on his right hand, but it was not the name he gave to Buske. When the officer asked about the discrepancy, Taylor took off running, Mustard said.

Taylor was arrested after a short chase.

"When the officer tackled him, he knew the gig was up," Mustard said. "He told officer Buske, 'Well, you guys are lucky. I was on 'America's Most Wanted' last night."'

Police checked and found that Taylor and Harmon had been featured on the show Saturday night.

Police arrested Harmon about 10 p.m. Sunday without incident at an apartment the couple had rented only days earlier, Mustard said.

Harmon was free on $2 million bond when she fled shortly before she was to appear Aug. 16 in a Chicago court on a first-degree murder charge. She was arrested April 16 after her landlord found her son's body. The boy had not been fed for as long as a week, authorities said.

Mustard said he believed they came to Missouri because Taylor's father still lives in Hollister, near the resort town of Branson.

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