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State Police: Runaway suspect is Ft. Drum soldier, considered "armed and dangerous"

By ANDREW DONOVAN

RICHFIELD SPRINGS, N.Y. (WKTV) - New York State Police are considering a man on the run in the Richfield Springs area "armed and dangerous" and warn that all residents should keep their doors locked for safety.

State Police Captain Francis Coots spoke with NEWSChannel 2 early Friday morning and identified the suspect as 20-year-old Russell C. Marcum.

Marcum is a soldier at Fort Drum who escaped from military custody, according to police. Marcum is 6'3" tall, 180 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes, and was last seen wearing camouflage clothing.

Marcum allegedly said he would not be taken alive, according to Captain Coots. Troopers are not certain he has a weapon but because of his threats, they are considering him "armed and dangerous."

A general warning is being issued for residents in the area to keep their doors locked and to remain inside their homes.

The search area is just south of Route 20. Police has set up a command post in a resident's barn at the intersection of Route 20 and Skinner Road, near Cole Hill Road in Richfield Springs.

If anyone in the area has seen Marcum or has information on his whereabouts, they are urged to call 911 immediately.

Captain Coots also told NEWSChannel 2 that Marcum has been calling friends and family threatening to commit suicide. Police are trying to take him into custody for his own protection.

A search helicopter is being utilized from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department to shed light into the area. The military is not involved in the search, according to police.

Coots said that the area where they suspect Marcum is hiding is a very swampy area. Police have not had any direct contact with him yet. Coots is confident they will have him in custody by daybreak.

New York State Police Troop C and Troop are involved in the search along with Sheriff's Deputies from Oneida, Otsego and Herkimer Counties. Authorities added that they have not send out canine units until they specify the location of the suspect using the helicopter.

Late Thursday night, multiple police agencies became involved in the manhunt after a police chase began in Jefferson County, traveled through Madison County and ended in Otsego County where Marcum went into hiding in a wooded area.

Coots went on to say that Marcum faces burglary and grand larceny charges. According to the Watertown Daily Times, Marcum was arrested on Wednesday for breaking into self-service storage lockers in Watertown.

On Thursday, he was being transferred from police custody to military custody at Fort Drum when he gained access to a car and escaped, starting the chase. In Otsego County, Marcum abandoned his car and took off on foot into the swampy area.

This is a breaking news story. WKTV.com will provide updates as they become available.

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