On Wednesday afternoon, February 22nd, the Sheriff’s Office arrested 27 year old JUAN CARLOS MORALES on outstanding felony warrants from the State of South Carolina.
The arrest came about after the Sheriff’s Office received a complaint at approximately 2:06 PM from a woman alleging that JUAN MORALES had brought her and her two small children, ages 2 and 4, to Baxter County, Arkansas from South Carolina, against her will, because he was fleeing from outstanding warrants. They have been living and hiding out in the State Highway 101 North area near Lake Norfork. The woman told deputies that she had left the residence to go to a store. After she left and did not quickly return, the woman alleged that MORALES began sending her text messages of a threatening nature, and she became concerned for the welfare of her children and herself.
While the woman was speaking with deputies, she received a text video from MORALES that showed him to be inside the Mountain Home Walmart Store. He had been given a ride to Walmart by another person. Sheriff’s Deputies and other officers converged on Walmart in an attempt to locate MORALES and the children, who could potentially be endangered.
Walmart personnel accessed their video surveillance system to assist. This video footage showed that MORALES had been inside the store, had made purchases through the checkout area, and had then left the store just prior to officers arriving there. Video footage revealed that MORALES and the children had been picked up by another person and had been driven away in another vehicle. The female was familiar with this particular vehicle and knew who the driver would be.
Officers then began searching the area for this vehicle. The 9-1-1 Call Center was able to “ping” the cell phone belonging to MORALES, which provided an approximate location for the phone. At around 4:00 PM, this vehicle was located at a residence on State Highway 201 North a short distance outside of the Mountain Home City Limits. Officers responded to that residence and made contact with a man at the front door. He was identified as 20 year old GAGE PINN of that address in rural Mountain Home.
PINN initially denied that MORALES was inside the residence, telling officers that only he and his girlfriend were there. However, it was soon verified that MORALES was in fact inside the residence as suspected. MORALES was quickly taken into custody on the outstanding warrants from the State of South Carolina, while GAGE PINN was also arrested for Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution, which is a felony.
Both JUAN MORALES and GAGE PINN were transported to the Baxter County Detention Center for booking. MORALES is awaiting extradition to South Carolina on outstanding warrants for Domestic Violence in the Second Degree and for Probation Violation on original charge of Threatening the Life of a Public Official. GAGE PINN posted $10,000 bond on the Hindering Apprehension charge and was released from custody. He will appear before the Circuit Court to answer on March 6th.
MORALES had thrown his cell phone out of the vehicle after he discovered he was being actively sought by authorities. The two small children were found at the residence, unharmed, and were returned to their mother. The Mountain Home Police Department assisted in the investigation, search for, and arrest of MORALES.