CNHI News Service
BEDFORD, Iowa — An escaped prisoner who led police on a four-day manhunt – allegedly shooting a sheriff’s deputy and stealing his patrol car along the way – was killed Tuesday morning by a 71-year-old man he had taken hostage, authorities said.
Rodney Eugene Long, 38, of Centerville, was found dead, lying face down in the kitchen of Jerome Mauderly, a retired prison guard.
Authorities said Long, who escaped from the Clarinda Correctional Facility in southwest Iowa early Friday morning, broke into Mauderly’s home around 10 p.m. Monday. Long, who had a semi-automatic weapon, held Mauderly and his wife, 66-year-old Carolyn Mauderly, hostage for four hours. He kept the couple in their bedroom while he wandered the house and used the telephone, The Des Moines Register reported.
At some point, Jerome Mauderly managed to get a hold of a shotgun, and he fired one shot at Long, killing him. The couple called police around 2 a.m., according to the Register.
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Mitch Mortveldt confirmed that the couple will not face any charges.
Long was serving time on a burglary charge from June 2012.
After he escaped from the prison Friday, Long was spotted walking along a highway on Sunday night, investigators said. When Taylor County Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Wyckoff arrived to speak with Long, he was shot twice — once in the arm and once in the abdomen. While the deputy was taking cover, Long stole the deputy's patrol vehicle and left the scene.
A second deputy arrived and picked up Deputy Wyckoff, and they began to pursue Long.
Long led multiple agencies, from both Iowa and Missouri, on a 40-minute chase when more gunfire was exchanged.
Long then crashed the stolen patrol vehicle, fled on foot and eventually escaped from police again.
A manhunt involving more a dozen agencies from Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska ensued, involving ground and air searches. Those searches were suspended as night fell on Monday, with extra patrols by Iowa State Patrol officers and county deputies in the area ordered.
Wyckoff was taken by air ambulance on Sunday to an Omaha-area hospital for treatment. He remained hospitalized as of Tuesday morning, but was still in stable condition. Wyckoff was wearing a bullet proof vest, and he is expected to make a full recovery.
This wasn’t the first time Long has escaped from custody. In June 2012, Long was complaining of injuries at the Centerville Law Center following his arrest on the burglary charges.
He was transported to Mercy Medical Center to tend to his injuries when, according to a press release from the Centerville Police Department, he escaped from custody and ran south from the hospital. Officers pursued on foot but lost Long in the wooded area nearby the hospital. Long was found two and half hours later and was taken into custody.
Details for this story were reported by The Daily Iowegian in Centerville, Iowa, and the Des Moines Register.