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Two arrested Saturday were wanted for Kentucky murder, sheriff says
ST. ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 23, 2008) — A man and woman arrested Saturday at the Greyhound bus station in St. Robert are wanted in another state on murder charges, Pulaski County Sheriff J.B. King confirmed late Monday afternoon.

Thomas Mercurio, 25, and Amy E. Arden, 21, both of Louisville, Ky., were arrested at 9:06 p.m. Saturday and were transported to the Pulaski County Jail where they were placed on a 24-hour hold, following what State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Danny Crain called “a very intensive search for the two individuals.”

State troopers didn’t release the reason for the intensive manhunt on Saturday, Sunday or most of Monday since their only charges in Missouri were those related to the traffic crash. However, King was able to confirm late Monday that Mercurio and Arden had been charged in Kentucky with murder, first degree robbery, first-degree arson, tampering with physical evidence and receiving stolen property. The two are being held on a $1 million cash-only bond pending extradition to Kentucky.

Mercurio and Arden had wrecked a 1994 Nissan minivan at 5:10 p.m. at mile marker 159 in St. Robert, which is near the bottom of a steep hill at the Roubidoux Creek Bridge. Firefighters found the vehicle had crashed in the westbound lanes but the occupants had fled. After checking the license plates, law enforcement personnel discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen in another state and its occupants were believed to have been connected with much more serious crimes. That touched off a four-agency manhunt in which St. Robert police, Waynesville police and sheriff’s deputies assisted troopers in trying to locate Arden and Thomas.

The Greyhound bus depot is outside the St. Robert city limits and under county jurisdiction even though it’s located on Missouri Avenue near Fort Leonard Wood and county deputies regularly call St. Robert police for assistance in that area. In this case, patrol cars from virtually every law enforcement agency in the area converged on the station due to the nature of the suspects.

“My guys were the first but everybody in the world was on their heels,” King said.

King provided additional details of what happened after the initial wreck that led to the arrest of Arden and Mercurio.

“They were arguing and pushing each other at the side of the road. There was stress on them, of course,” King said. “They wrecked here, panicked, yelled at each other, and then they ran because they realized they were about to be caught.”

There’s no reason to believe Mercurio and Arden had planned to stop in Pulaski County, King said; if the crash hadn’t happened, they would have continued on Interstate 44 fleeing from Kentucky.

According to state patrol reports, Arden was arrested on charges of tampering with a motor vehicle. Thomas was arrested on more serious charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, careless and imprudent driving and no valid operator’s license.

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