NACOGDOCHES — Officials say a wanted fugitive was caught hiding in a trailer Friday morning after authorities had been searching over half a day for him. KETK reports that Thursday afternoon at 2:00, law enforcement began looking for Thomas Howell following a tip that a burglar had been seen in a house on Henderson Lane in the Central Heights area. The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office, Constables, DPS Troopers, Texas Rangers, State Game Wardens, the Stephen F. Austin Police Assistant Chief, and the Nacogdoches Police Department assisted in setting up a perimeter around the area. A DPS helicopter and two sets of tracking dogs from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Division also assisted in the search for Howell.
After looking for over 9 hours, Howell could not be found. Deputies remained in the Central Heights area throughout the night and believed that Howell was in the vicinity. Authorities figured the cold weather would drive him into shelter before sunrise, and at 3:30 a.m., law enforcement began searching vacant houses on Henderson Lane. Officials say he was found in a trailer house that he had broken into earlier in the day.
Deputies arrested Howell without incident, and he was taken to the Nacogdoches County Jail. He is charged with burglary of habitation with intent to commit assault, sexual assault, retaliation, violation of protective order, burglary of a habitation, and assault family violence. A parole warrant hold has also been issued for Howell.