Authorities Search Wooded Area Where Homicide Suspect’s Vehicle Was Found

They ended their search Sunday, finding no evidence he is in that  area.

Judge Andrew Wilkinson                                    Pedro Argote (updated photo courtesy US Marshals


Williamsport, Md (KM) The search continues for Pedro Manuel, Argote, 49, of Frederick who is a suspect in the shooting death of Washington County Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson.  But authorities have recovered the suspect’s vehicle, a silver Mercedes SUV.  . “At approximately, 11 AM {Saturday, Oct. 21st}, the suspect’s vehicle was located in a wooded area off of Bottom Road.  That’s in Williamsport, Maryland, on the Tannery Property.   if you’re familiar with Williamsport,” says Sergeant Carly Hose, the Public Information Officer for the Washington County Sheriff’s Office,  who spoke to reporters Saturday afternoon during a news conference.

That’s about 8 miles southwest of Hagerstown where the Judge was shot outside of his home in the 19100 block of Olde Waterford Road on Thursday evening. Judge Wilkinson was taken to Meritus Medical Center where he died.

Earlier in the day, the Judge presided over a divorce case involving Argote. He ruled that Argote’s wife was to have custody of their children.   Judge Wilkinson also ruled that Argote should have no  contact with the children, and pay $1,120 a month in child support.

Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert says the search involved   a large, wooded area. “It’s hundred of acres in there,”: he said.

He also acknowledged the possibility that Argote may have  fled the area. “But we have to clear this area to make sure. It’s a pretty big area we’re looking at. It’s hundreds of acres in there,” says Sheriff Albert.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office was  assisted in this search by the Maryland State Police, Hagerstown Police, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland Natural Resources Police, the National Park Service and the US Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force.

The search ended on Sunday, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.  Authorities say there is no evidence Argote is in the Williamsport area.

But investigators say they continue to follow up  on leads and gather information.  Anyone who knows of Argote’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 240-313-2170, or the US Marshals’ Service at 1-877-WANTED2  (926-8332)

The US Marshals say this is an interstate manhunt. They  say Argote has ties to multiple locations outside of Maryland, including Brooklyn and Long Island, New York, Tampa and Clearwater, Florida, Columbus, Indiana, , and unknown cities in North Carolina. Anyone  who has seen Argote is asked to contact local police.  Sheriff Albert says the suspect should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

There is a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Argote’s arrest.

Albert   says the suspect’s vehicle will be searched. “We’re going to wait till we clear the area and it’s not an active scene,” he says. “And  then we’ll tow the vehicle to a secure area for search warrant. We’ll pull the computer, GPS’ from it, and then the contents obviously if we find anything in the vehicle.”

The Sheriff says search warrants for the vehicle have been secured.

By Kevin McManus