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Cops: Suspect falls asleep, hostages flee home

Authorities say the man who held a couple hostage in their Kansas home fell asleep and they escaped unharmed.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Two newlyweds held hostage in their eastern Kansas home on Saturday escaped unharmed when the man holding them captive fell asleep, after they gave him pillows and a blanket, authorities and family members said.

Jesse Dennis Dimmick, 23, was shot and injured when confronted by officers as they stormed the beige, one-story ranch-style house in Dover, a tiny town about 15 miles west of Topeka. Police said Dimmick — wanted in connection to a homicide in Colorado and burglaries in three states — crashed his car into the couple's front yard after leading police on a chase.

Family members said the couple befriended Dimmick after he forced his way into their home. They offered him something to drink and gave him pillows and blankets so he could lay down in their bedroom. When he dozed off, they ran from the house.

The chase began about 50 miles west in Geary County when sheriff's deputies spotted a car that authorities said Dimmick stole in Colorado.

"The suspect ended up having a couple of accidents along the way," Topeka Police Capt. Jerry Stanley said. "It was a pursuit that ended up in the front yard."

Dimmick was shot once in the upper left part of his chest, though his injuries weren't considered life threatening, said Kansas attorney general spokeswoman Ashley Anstaett. He underwent surgery Saturday afternoon. His condition hasn't been released.

The couple, Jared and Lindsay Rowley, were married last week and went with police to Topeka to answer questions following the incident, family members said. They said Lindsey Rowley is studying criminal justice at Kansas State University. A message left on cell phone was not returned Saturday night.

Family members said they received text messages from the couple while they were inside the house and passed them on to authorities.

"They didn't know where he came from. They hadn't heard anything," said Brenda Sage, Lindsay Rowley's aunt.

Another aunt, Janet Sage Bruce, said the couple were watching a movie and didn't know authorities had surrounded their home until they fled.

"They were watching 'Patch Adams' on the TV," she said.

Authorities were looking for Dimmick in connection with a homicide at a motel in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colo.

On Friday, Geary County deputies began chasing Dimmick after learning that the vehicle he was driving was stolen in Greeley, Colo. During the pursuit, Dimmick wrecked the vehicle near Junction City and fled on foot, the Kansas attorney general's office said.

Officials spent hours searching for him Friday, then spotted him Saturday in a second stolen vehicle, authorities said.

In addition to his connection to the Colorado killing, the Kansas Attorney General's Office said Dimmick is also wanted in North Carolina, Louisiana and Colorado for burglary.

Authorities in Colorado wouldn't comment on Dimmick's connection to the homicide. They said they arrested another man, Shayne Michael Miller, Friday in Salina.