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Camper Slaying Suspect Arrested

August 6, 1998

PEKIN, N.C. (AP) _ The man suspected of killing two campers in western North Carolina over the weekend was captured by law-enforcement agents Wednesday as he walked along a rural road.

James Andrew Finley Jr., 21, of Hickory, was arrested about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday near a hunting lodge, said Montgomery County Sheriff Jeff Jordan.

Finley was armed with a rifle and a handgun when he was confronted by deputies on foot from the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department and officers with the Rockingham Police Department, authorities said.

Authorities fired one shot at Finley and he dropped his weapons and surrendered immediately, police said.

Finley was taken to the command post set up by authorities in Pekin to coordinate the search before he was to be transported to jail.

His arrest ends a six-day search.

Finley was being sought in connection with the deaths of Derek Andrew Marston and Tommi Danielle Byrd, both 24 and from Charlotte. They were found shot and slashed Sunday at their campsite in Linville Gorge Wilderness Area in western North Carolina.

The manhunt was on the southern edge of the Uwharrie National Forest.

A reported admirer of Alabama abortion clinic bombing suspect Eric Rudolph’s successful evasive tactics in the western North Carolina mountains, Finley failed to appear in court July 28 on a charge of driving with an expired inspection sticker.

Two days later, officials began looking for him after a relative reported he had stolen at least four guns, a hunting knife and a car. The car was found Sunday near the campsite where Marston and Byrd were found.

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