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A North Carolina man wanted for questioning in regards to his wife’s disappearance has been arrested after leading authorities on a car chase in a vehicle last week that he'd allegedly stolen, police said.
Carl Earl Wiggins, 49, led authorities on a high-speed car chase down I-40 on June 23, according to ABC 11. The incident started when Four Oaks police in Johnston County noticed the 2003 Ford Excursion matched the description of a vehicle reported stolen in Bladen County on June 17. When police tried to pull Wiggins over, the suspect sped off and engaged police on a multi-county pursuit.
Video shows the chase ending in Wake County when Wiggins crashed into a guardrail before fleeing into a dense, wooded area on foot. Police apprehended him shortly after in the brush.
“[Police] did deploy some spike strips, which did flatten the tires of the vehicle, brought the vehicle to a stop here in Wake County,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Marcus Bethea told ABC 11.
Wiggins has been wanted for questioning since the disappearance of his wife, 39-year-old Kiara Wiggins. She was reported missing to the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office by her relatives, according to The Sampson Independent, after she was last seen at her home. Nine days before her family filed a report, and the sheriff’s office said she should be considered “in danger.”
“Rain, sleet, snow, whatever. We’re coming, honey,” her sister, Judy Murray, told ABC 11. “We’re going to find you.”
It was upon their investigation into Kiara’s disappearance that police initially discovered the stolen SUV, according to the local outlet. Police said they believe Wiggins stole the SUV on June 17 — one day before Kiara was reported missing, and eight days after she was last seen.
Investigators then issued warrants for Wiggins on charges of felony larceny and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Murray told ABC 11 that Wiggins "blew up" after he asked for more details when he'd said that Kiara was with a friend.
“We’re still looking,” Sheriff Jimmy Thornton told WRAL News said after the arrest. He confirmed that Wiggins is the prime suspect in his wife's disappearance.
“Until we find the body dead or alive, we 've got to have hope that we’ll find her alive,” Thornton said, according to NBC News.
Kiara Wiggins has black hair and brown hair. She is 5’8” tall and weighs about 205 lbs.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Sampson County Sheriff’s Office at (910) 592-4141.
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