By Ryan Lengerich
A man with ties to eastern New Mexico who is suspected of killing two Oklahoma residents last month is still on the loose. But Oklahoma police officials believe they have him contained.
Scott James Eizember, 42, is suspected of killing an elderly couple Oct. 18 in Depew, Okla., police said.
Prior to the homicide, Eizember frequented San Jon where Police Chief Ben Gates arrested him for possessing a stolen vehicle. Eizember spent two weeks in the Quay County Detention Center in Tucumcari, but was released for lack of evidence, court documents show. From there, he visited a local transient rescue mission in the city where he received a bus ticket to Amarillo.
Creek County, Okla., Chief Deputy Mike O’Keefe said this week authorities strongly believe Eizember is hiding in the dense woods around Creek County. As recently as Saturday, he said police have had visual contact of a person they believe to be Eizember, but full-scale searches of the area have been unsuccessful.
The case has appeared on America’s Most Wanted television show.
“We do feel with a level of certainty that he is in the area we are searching,” O’Keefe said.
The chief deputy said there is no reason to believe Eizember has made an effort to return to eastern New Mexico. But he said this area and his hometown of Garden City, Mich., are among areas where residents should keep an eye out.
“Anyone who has had any contact with this man in the past should be vigilant,” O’Keefe said.
Gates said it is slightly nerve-racking knowing Eizember could show up anywhere.
“As for the people he has had association with out here I have kept them informed as much as I know about,” Gates said. “I don’t think everybody is up losing sleep over it but they are more cautious than they were.”
On Monday, O’Keefe said about 300 law enforcement officials searched an area he called a “hot zone.” Eizember, O’Keefe said, has no military or special outdoor survival training, but he is “one of those types that liked to go in the woods.”
A tactical team leader told O’Keefe he has never pursued anyone as intelligent and skilled in the woods as Eizember.
“We have done a lot of background on him and we know some things about his skills in the woods,” O’Keefe said.
“Even though we had a perimeter set up, that is not foolproof and he could slip through it … obviously that is what he did.”
Creek County officials have been bombarded with calls from the public claiming to have encountered Eizember. In one case, O’Keefe said, an Arkansas man bearing a resemblance to Eizember was arrested on unrelated charges. In San Jon, Gates said he will continue to be on the lookout.
“There is no telling where he will show up,” Gates said. “We caught him once, we’ll catch him again.”