JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – A routine traffic stop Tuesday turned into a crazy chase scene with car crashes and a home invasion. The suspect? Witnesses describe her as a wild-haired woman who disappeared into the woods without a coat.
The initial traffic stop by a Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputy revealed the woman had a warrant for felony drug possession. She reportedly drove off on Highway 141, topping speeds of 100 mph.
Resident Bob Gebhardt saw the woman when she drove though yards on Silver Maple Drive.
“She had 14 police cars after her, but they were far enough back they didn’t see her swing around up here,” he said.
Gebhardt said she disappeared behind a home, only to come shooting back onto the street like a scene out of Smokey and the Bandit films.
“She came flying out between those two houses and came out this way again but there were 14 police cars already set up here for her,” he said. “She then zigzagged up the street like Marshall Faulk from the Rams did and she actually got away.”
One driver told me she crashed into two cars near an entrance to Gravois Bluffs near the Chevy dealership and the movie theatre. He said he chased her for awhile after she left her car in the middle of the road. He said she ran through the shopping center parking lot.
That’s where it appears she found the neighboring Branch household.
“She just picked our house for some reason,” said homeowner John Branch.
John and Patti Branch were inside when the woman just walked in.
“She was, like, doubled over and she was panted like she was out of breath,” he said.
Branch said she told them she was being beaten by her boyfriend and not to call the cops. John secretly used a headset to call 911.
“She went to the front door and she goes, ‘Oh, the police are already here!’ Then she’s pacing back and forth,” he said.
The woman grabbed Branch’s truck keys and stole the vehicle.
“She was going so fast she did a power slide over there and the deputy told me there were six police officers standing down there and she was barreling right towards them,” he said. “They knew it was her because she’s got this flaming red dyed hair. It’s, like, florescent red.”
She drove through at least three areas surrounding Gravois Bluffs before running into the woods and disappearing.
“I asked the St. Louis County police officer, I said, ‘Who was that guy?’ And he said, ‘That wasn’t a guy, that was a woman,’ and that she was about 30-years-old with bright red or pink hair and she had stolen the vehicle,” Gebhardt said.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office described her as a Caucasian woman, last seen wearing grey yoga pants, a pink sweater, and with bright red or pink hair. She was last seen running into the woods nearby without a coat. Even canines and a helicopter couldn’t track her down Tuesday night.
Authorities eventually found Branch’s truck and returned the vehicle to him.