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Dyaln Lee Jones will appear in Hillsdale County’s Distrct Court. Col­legian | Julia Mullins

Two weeks after Hillsdale City Police spotted a fugitive attempting to break into a house, Michigan State Police finally arrested the man on Aug. 27 in Jef­ferson Township. 

First Lt. Kevin Rod has been with Michigan State Police for 21 years and said the state used its avi­ation and K-9 units to track Hillsdale res­ident, 22-year-old Dylan Lee Jones, through a bean field. 

“Avi­ation was able to pick him up using some of their internal imaging and helped provide direction for the K-9 unit and responding units to take him into custody,” Rod said. 

Jones was on parole for three offenses: oper­ating and main­taining a metham­phet­amine lab,  larceny of a firearm, and breaking into and dam­aging a vehicle. 

Prior to his arrest in Jef­ferson Township, between the cities of Hillsdale and Pittsford, Jones broke his parole and gained absconder status on Aug. 1. Shortly after, on Aug. 13, Jones came to the City of Hillsdale in search of money, according to Hillsdale City Police Officer Todd Holtz. 

Holtz responded to an initial call around 12 p.m. when Jones was spotted in Hillsdale. 

Holtz said Jones asked his younger brother to steal money from their mother and meet at Family Video for an exchange. Jones’ brother called 911 and reported Jones’ plan, so Holtz went to Family Video and waited for Jones’ car. 

While Holtz was waiting, Jones attempted to break into his mother’s house, so Holtz left Family Video and went to the house. 

“When I arrived at the house, Dylan was trying to force entry into the door,” Holtz said. “And knowing that his little brother was alone in the house, I yelled at Dylan to stop what he was doing. We ended up chasing him for two and a half weeks sub­se­quent to that.” 

The chase began in a heavily wooded area within the city limits of Hillsdale. Hillsdale Police Chief Scott Hephner said his department, along with the Hillsdale County Sheriff Department and MSP, trapped Jones in a quarter-mile square. 

Although MSP pro­vided the city with a K-9 unit, the two hours of heavy rain prior to the search created con­di­tions that were not ideal for the dog to pick up a scent. 

Around 7 p.m., res­i­dents on South Wolcott Street observed Jones climbing down from a tree. The Hillsdale City Police and MSP K-9 unit made their way to the area, but Jones fled to a swamp, and the dog was unable to track him any farther. 

After two unsuc­cessful searches in one day, Hephner said he and the other agencies felt frus­trated. 

“Des­per­ation kicks in and it becomes a mission,” he said. 

Hephner also said that MSP was relentless in pur­suing Jones, adding that Hillsdale City Police has a great working rela­tionship with MSP and the other local agencies. 

“If we need any resources, like the K-9 unit or explosive department, they’re there,” Hephner said. 

Since his arrest on Aug. 27, Jones is being detained at the Hillsdale County Jail pending a court appearance. He will appear in Hillsdale County’s Dis­trict Court for his arraignment, fol­lowed by a criminal hearing for charges com­mitted in the county. 

Jones’ girl­friend, Cheyenne Leigh Hunt­ington, was also arrested for allegedly har­boring a fugitive, making false police reports, and obstructing justice. 

After weeks of tracking, Rod said he was most impressed with the per­sis­tence of all officers involved in the search and arrest of Jones. 

“This was a perfect example of all law enforcement agencies working together,” Rod said. “It took all of us with our resources com­bined to bring this to a suc­cessful com­pletion.”