Lenoir County deputies capture wanted suspect after extensive manhunt

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – Lenoir County deputies say the man who ran from police after a chase across four North Carolina counties on Monday night has been captured.

Officials said Kenneth Piper was captured Tuesday afternoon after an extensive manhunt. He was located just after 4 p.m. near Banks School Road and Parrott Dickerson Road. He was taken into custody.

Piper was wanted on drug charges. Lenoir County deputies and personnel from other departments were involved in the search.

Officials said the search started when Piper and another person led police on a chase that began in Johnston County. It stretched into Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties.

Piper’s car wrecked near Felix Harvey Parkway. Investigators spent much of last night looking for him in wooded areas near Crestview subdivision and Hickory Hills Road. 

A spokesperson with Lenoir County Schools said earlier Tuesday deputies advised Banks Elementary and Bethel Christian Academy to go on a modified schedule.

People in the Crestview neighborhood told 9OYS the search is having an impact on their routines.

“I normally walk my dog at 10 o’clock at night before I go to bed and take her out the front yard, I couldn’t even do that last night. I couldn’t go out this morning to get a newspaper until daylight,” said Tine Faulkner.

Faulkner hopes next time there will be more communication between the sheriff and area homeowners about what’s going on. 

9OYS reached out to the sheriff’s office about these concerns. We are still waiting for a response. 

This is still an active investigation so if you have any information on the suspect’s whereabouts contact the Lenoir County Sheriff’s office at 252-559-6118 or Lenoir County Crime Stoppers at 252-523-4444.



KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) — One of two suspects in a chase that spanned four counties was still at large early Tuesday morning, deputies with the Lenoir County Sheriff’s Office said.

Kenneth Earl Piper of Wilson is 29, 6-foot-0 and 160 pounds with brown dredlocks and tattoos on his face and above his eyebrows. He has active warrants for possession with intent to sell, manufacture, deliver methamphetamine, possession of LSD and resisting arrest. Other charges are pending from the chase.

Officials said the chase began in Johnston County and stretched through Wayne, Greene and Lenoir counties. Piper was wanted by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office.

The vehicle Piper was driving ran out of gas and he along with an unidentified passenger fled on foot around 5:30 p.m. With the assistance of Kinston Police Department, Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department, NCSBI and Lenoir County Emergency Services, a wooded area was searched for suspects. Canines and drones were also used.

The unidentified passenger was caught but the search for Piper was called off after 1 a.m. on Tuesday.

It’s believed Piper is in the wooded area near Felix Harvey Parkway, Crestview Subdivision and Hickory Hills Road in the Lenoir County area. Anyone who sees him or has information is asked to call 911 immediately.

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