TEHACAHPI — A man hauling a dead body in the bed of his truck was arrested on Monday afternoon after leading police on a high-speed pursuit through the deserts of eastern Kern County.
William Patterson, 34, was booked into the Kern County Jail for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm, felony evading a peace officer and illegal disposal of a body. His bail has been set at $55,000.
According to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the chain of events began at around 2:30 a.m. on February 9, when deputies were advised of a man armed with a rifle driving around Mojave and California City with the body of a deceased person in the bed of his red Ford pickup truck.
At around 4 a.m., California City police officers spotted Patterson and attempted to stop the vehicle he was driving. However, Patterson refused to stop, leading officers on a 100-mile-per-hour, 20-minute pursuit, which ended when officers lost him on a dirt road.
The abandoned truck was later located on Tehachapi Willow Springs Road near Oak Creek Road, southeast of downtown Tehachapi, with the body of an unknown deceased male victim in the bed.
Patterson, who was hiding in the surrounding foothills near where the vehicle was found, was taken into custody at around 12 p.m. without further incident by deputies from the sheriff’s department and members of the Bakersfield Police Department SWAT teams.
Tehachapi News: Suspect arrested following manhunt
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