Facebook Twitter

1 separatist is still on the loose

SHARE 1 separatist is still on the loose

Police returned to the air over the rugged Davis Mountains Tuesday in a search for a member of the militant Republic of Texas, a day after one of his comrades shot three tracking dogs and then was killed in a shootout.

Both men had disappeared into the mountains hours before other allies of the group ended a week-long standoff with authorities.The leader of the group, which believes the formerly independent Texas was illegally absorbed by the United States, and several followers were named in a federal fraud indictment unsealed Monday.

The missing man still being sought had never been spotted Monday, when authorities scoured the mountains on horseback and helicopter and with trained dogs.

"There is some feeling now that maybe they were not together," said Mike Cox, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety.

The two men, 48-year-old Mike Matson and 21-year-old Richard Frank Keyes III, had left the Republic's remote headquarters separately on Saturday. Authorities said they were believed armed with rifles and at least one handgun.

On Monday, Republic leader Richard McLaren and his wife, Evelyn, were indicted on charges of defrauding businesses out of hundreds of thousand of dollars with phony money. Several followers also were indicted.

U.S. Attorney Paul Coggins called the McLarens "paper terrorists. They're not revolutionaries but ripoff artists. They're not patriots but parasites. In short, they're bullies."

Although officials would not release the name of the man killed Monday, he was described as middle-aged.

"Yeah, that's my brother," Ralph Matson, brother of Mike Matson, told the Associated Press after being read a description of the victim.

The man was sleeping when search dogs found him. Startled, he fired his pistol and fled. Three dogs unleashed to track the fugitives were shot. One died and the other two were in good condition. A fourth dog was missing.

Dogs tracked him down again in the afternoon. He fired again and was shot in the arm by DPS officers.

He fell, stood up and fired at a helicopter before he was hit again and killed. Horses could not reach the spot because of the rough terrain, and his body had to be retrieved by helicopter.