By Lt. Kip Shuter,
Public Information Officer
Warsaw Police Department
UPDATE: At approximately 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 15, Jerron Turpen was taken into custody following a tip that he was hiding in a van north of Warsaw in North Riverwood Estates subdivision. Warsaw Narctoics officers were assisted by the Indiana State Police in the capture.
At approximately 1:41 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, an off-duty Warsaw Police Officer was traveling on County Road 100 East south of County Road 350 North, when he observed a vehicle stopped on the side of the road and stopped to check on the occupants. The two occupants advised that they had run out of fuel and advised that a third person had gone to get gas. As the off-duty officer called for assistance from an on-duty unit, the occupants took off running in separate directions.
The driver fled southbound with a dark colored Pit Bull puppy, while the passenger fled northbound. The officer requested assistance and several officers responded, including K9 officers. The off-duty Warsaw officer looked in the vehicle and found several methamphetamine manufacturing items (see related article).
A short time later the passenger, Trace L. Skinner, 51, of Leesburg, was located walking on CR 450N and identified as the passenger who had fled. Information from Skinner found that he had been picked up and they were on their way to purchase meth manufacturing product when the SUV stopped running. Skinner is cooperating with investigators and was charged with level 6 felony unlawful possession of precursors to the manufacture of methamphetamine. He is being held at the Kosciusko County Jail on a $2,000 surety bond.
The driver was tracked by K9 officers but never located. The driver was eventually identified thru video surveillance and verified by the off-duty officer as 29-year-old, Jerrod W. Turpen, of Warsaw. Warsaw Police are still looking for Jerrod W. Turpen who is a white male, 6-feet tall, 185 pounds, with short brown hair and brown eyes. Jerrod Turpen is wanted for manufacturing and dealing methamphetamine. Turpen may be in the Goshen or Elkhart County area.
The HCL generators, and precursors to the manufacture of methamphetamine in the vehicle were removed by the clandestine lab teams from Warsaw Police, Winona Lake Police and Indiana State Police. The white GMC SUV was later reported as stolen and is currently being investigated.
Warsaw Police was assisted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Winona Lake Police Department, Indiana State Police, Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and Plain Township (Leesburg) Fire Department.
Anyone with information on this case or the whereabouts of Jerrod Turpen is asked to contact the Warsaw Police Narcotics unit at 574-372-9540