July 2, 2021

Lawrence County deputies arrest subject of manhunt Friday morning

Therese Apel

John D.B. Portrey was arrested in Lawrence County after a manhunt.

Lawrence County deputies apprehended a suspect Friday morning after a six hour manhunt.

Police had been searching for John D.B. Portrey, who was wanted for armed robbery. Sheriff Ryan Everett said his office was called in by Copiah County to help find a 2003 Ford Mustang involved in a Georgetown robbery. It was headed into Lawrence County, they said.

Lawrence County deputies found the vehicle in the area of Monticello Road North. Three suspects were taken into custody, but the search continued for Portrey.

Everett kept his community update via Facebook, letting them know when the search was shut down overnight.

“After six hours of a very extensive and thorough search, we have been left with no other option than to call it a night. We had officers from four additional agencies in the woods with bloodhounds and drones. We have exhausted every measure possible short of setting the woods on fire,” he wrote.

Portrey was found Friday at 9:44 a.m., Everett said. It was the eyes of citizens in Lawrence County that led to his arrest.

“I also want to extend a special thank you to the individuals in the Oma community that reported the most recent sighting,” he said.

There were other factors at play, too, Everett said.

“When you’ve been in the woods in the July heat and come across multiple venomous snakes and been in the tall grass and screatched by the briars, you kinda want someone to come find you, you know,” he said.

Portrey was found about a mile and a half from where the bloodhoused lost his scent, Everett said.

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