CHILHOWEE, Mo. -- A SWAT operation in Chilhowee, Mo., ended with no arrests after about four hours Tuesday afternoon, as police and deputies filled the small town on a tip that Ian McCarthy might be there.
McCarthy, 39, is charged with the murder of Clinton, Mo., police officer Gary Michael, 37, Sunday night in Clinton.
Law enforcement moved in to the small town about 70 miles southeast of Kansas City after noon Tuesday and searched several homes in the area, but they concentrated on a trailer on West Walnut Street just south of Route 2.
Missouri State Highway Patrol says law enforcement received a tip that McCarthy was in a home. The owner of the mobile home gladly handed over the keys and told police how to get in.
"When all of this happened, I actually felt safer the first time. I mean all them guns, all them big 7-foot troopers you know. I actually was more relieved than nervous that it happened because I felt safe around all them troopers," Scott Miller, the owner said.
Authorities searched another home on the corner of Ohio Street just around the corner. Neighbors describe it as an abandoned home, which SWAT raided and cleared.
FOX 4 stayed throughout the day and saw two SWAT officers with their guns drawn who took cover behind the doors of the SWAT vehicle. Other SWAT officers went to an adjacent home and a third officer took cover behind the door of his police SUV with his gun drawn as well.
FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien reported hearing yelling coming from the location of the house and described some sounds as 'wailing', like the sounds of sirens, as they tried to get anyone inside to surrender.
Sgt. Bill Lowe with the Mo. State Hwy. Patrol says even though this didn't end in an arrest, police are grateful for the community's cooperation and encouraged residents to continue sharing any leads.
"So if you see somebody walking and they don't look right, feel free. We want you to call and let us know that they're around," he said.
Police are taking an especially careful look at vehicles reported stolen in the area, or any possible way for McCarthy to travel.
"The terrain that we're dealing with, there's a lot of wooded area, a lot of area to deal with so if he's not in fact been picked up by someone else or stolen another vehicle, this is a long distance on foot. So, if this is indeed the case where he is, then hopefully we can get it to a conclusion, but right now, we received the tip, following up on it, if it's not here then we'll redirect and relocate."
He stressed the potential danger of the situation, and advised individuals in the community to continue sharing any tips and to stay safe.
"Just make sure you're staying away from the area we have cordoned off already. We don't want anybody else hurt. We want to make sure the citizens here are safe. That's another thing about the citizens. We've been very appreciated of any information they give us, any sighting, any possible sighting that they think has happened. And they're calling us, so we want that to continue to happen, but we want to make sure everybody's safe.