ATLANTA – A former sheriff's deputy accused of killing his wife and a day laborer has joined the ranks of "America's Most Wanted" after cutting the leather strap of his electronic monitoring device and fleeing from house arrest.
Authorities nationwide were searching Tuesday for Derrick Yancey, four days after he left his mother's home south of Atlanta and got a 12-hour start before police were notified that he was missing.
Yancey, 49, was awaiting trial in the June shooting deaths of his 44-year-old wife, Linda, and a 20-year-old day laborer from Guatemala, Marcial Cax Puluc. Yancey claimed Puluc had killed his wife, and that he then shot Puluc in self-defense, but authorities later said Yancey fabricated that account. He was indicted in August by grand jury in DeKalb County, just east of Atlanta. He resigned from the sheriff's department shortly before he was indicted.
The private monitoring firm BI Inc. of Colorado received an alert on Yancey's bracelet at 5:41 a.m. Saturday but the sheriff's office was not notified for hours, according to testimony Monday before Superior Court Judge Linda Warren Hunter.
DeKalb Sheriff Tom Brown said Yancey has relatives in the Detroit area, and police there were asked to be on the lookout.
He said the electronic monitor is held on the ankle by a leather strap.
"The leather strap was cut with a pair of scissors or something," the sheriff said. "It doesn't take rocket science to remove the strap. The strap was designed with the idea that the person would not remove it."
Yancey's lawyer, Keith Adams, said, "We are hopeful that he will turn himself in. We were awaiting trial and are comfortable with the evidence."
Sheriff's spokeswoman Mikki Jones said anyone with information on Yancey's whereabouts could go to the http://www.amw.com Web site, or call 1-800-CRIME-TV.