The Capture of Two Suspects on the Run Surprised Law Enforcement

June 18, 2008

TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WXTX) - On the run since Saturday, two suspects accused in a brutal double murder in central Florida are now in custody in Macon County.

The two suspects probably thought the Tuskegee National Forest Park was a good place to hide, but little did they know word had already come from Florida that they might be in this vicinity and it shocked everyone when they were found. Charles Foote is with the Forest Ranger Law Enforcement. "That's very shocking. Everyday you don't have a suspect to walk in your front door."

And, that's just what happened. A Macon county investigator went to the National Forest Park to pass out photographs and tell the rangers about the suspects who were wanted, and within moments it happened. Macon County Sheriff David Warren explained how it happened. "While the Macon county investigator was there passing information on to the Forest Ranger the suspect walks in."

That suspect is John Odom who walked in the office to get a camping permit. Sheriff Warren then explained what happened next. "The Macon county investigator went out to the car and arrested the female." Actually, it was a U-Haul truck that's still in the location where Susan Wallen was arrested.

The Polk County Sheriff's office says the two are wanted for a pair of brutal murders they believe are drug related. Foote said there were no incidents. "So, I cleared the front room of all the personnel that worked here. Told them to go to the back. At that time, we arrested him. Did he resist? He didn't. Did he try and run? No M'am. He was here and we caught him by surprise really."

And,  both law enforcement agencies say the circumstances with the two arrests were definitely out of the ordinary. Foote admits, "We got lucky." And, Sheriff Warren agrees. "Blind luck. The suspect walks in and was taken down."

The sad part about this capture is two children witnessed it. One boy is 8 and the other is 13. The 8 year old cried a lot saying over and over "My mother didn't kill anybody." The 13-year-old sat quietly, barely talking to anyone not even when someone spoke to him. They were waiting for their grandmother in Florida to come and pick them up.

It could be days or weeks before the suspects are returned to Florida depending on if they fight extradition.