Fugitive captured in cave from Independence County

Joshua Vanesch is escorted out of Blowing Cave in Cushman Sunday afternoon in Arkansas.

CUSHMAN, Ark. – A wanted fugitive spent almost a full day hiding from authorities inside of a cave in Independence County. He was located and arrested Sunday afternoon.

Joshua Vanesch was wanted by U.S. Marshals and by Van Buren County authorities. Records show he absconded from parole/probation on May 14, 2019. The most serious offense on his record was possession of meth, greater than 2 grams but less than 10 grams.

Photo from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office

At some point, Vanesch was located last night in Cushman but he didn’t want to go easily.

The Independence County Sheriff’s Department published in a released that, “Vanesch decided that he wanted to run back into Blowing Cave and spend the evening instead of cooperating with law enforcement.”

It didn’t work out well for Vanesch.

Vanesch being escorted out of the Blowing Cave. Source: ICSD

At about 3 PM Sunday, search crews found Vanesch hiding in a room located in the Blowing Cave. He appeared to have had a rough evening, based on photos released by Independence County authorities.

He was taken to and treated by White River Medical Center. From there, he was released to Independence County officers.

Vanesch’s four month run from authorities ended this weekend, thanks to the work of US Marshals, Independence County Sheriff’s Department, Cushman Fire Department, NOMADS Cave Rescue Team and Jim Miller, who was named specifically by Independence County authorities in their post.

In custody.

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