From Hardy Police Chief Scott Rose:
On Sunday, June 19 at approximately 10:20 AM suspect Identified as Josh Hoover is reported to have approached a female victim at Riverbend Park at gunpoint and after reportedly committing sexual crimes against this person forced her into her own vehicle which was described as a 2019 Toyota forerunner.
They suspect and the victim then leave the park in the gray forerunner and traveled to a gas station convenience store in Highland where she was able to escape his custody and locked her self into a bathroom.
They suspect then is seen on camera entering the store attempting to recover the victim but was unsuccessful and left in her vehicle.
The suspect then fled from Hardy officers after being spotted near the four-lane bridge crossing Spring River.
The pursuit led into Highway 63 traveling north of Hardy when officers were unable to keep a visual on the vehicle due to thick traffic and extreme treacherous hills and curves. It is unfortunate that the officers then lost the vehicle and had to terminate pursuit. The vehicle was later located in a ditch at the north end of Wolfhollow Circle and Highway 63 in Fulton County north of Hardy.
The suspect was not found in the vehicle and no signs of major injuries were found in the vehicle although it did appear to have rolled over at least twice. It is believed in suspect Josh Hoover may still be armed and is extremely dangerous. It is understood and believed that his reason for staying in Riverbend Park was that he had family who had property and a camper at that location that was not being used.
Investigation reveals that the property owner/family were unaware that Mr. Hoover was hiding at the park. It has been discovered that a similar crime was committed in Jonesboro in which Mr. Hoover is the suspect and has active warrants for those violent crimes.
It is believed that the Jonsboro warrant is the reason for him fleeing the Jonesboro area approximately 6 days ago to hide in this area.
Hoovers mental condition is unknown at this time but he has made statements that he will not go back to prison. His family states this behavior is definatly far beyond his normal characteristics.
Again he’s very dangerous and his whereabouts are unknown as he did not have any known cell phones or any way for investigators to track the suspects location. Do not approach and call 911 if you have any information or sightings of the suspect. His family is working with law enforcement in attempts to locate Hoover to be taken into custody safely.
Please call 911 if located as he could be anywhere at this time.
From Hardy Police Chief Scott Rose