UPDATE # 3 Monday

NATCHITOCHES, La. - The search is continuing in the Ajax area of Natchitoches Parish for a man who crashed a stolen vehicle and ran from sheriff's deputies early Friday morning. 

The sheriff's office called off the search late Friday afternoon after receiving a report from a family member that a female friend picked up 20-year-old Adrian A. Cox Jr. But then family members said that was not the case and Cox was still lost in the wooded area off Interstate 49, NPSO spokesman Tony Moran said Monday.

The sheriff's office even got a call from family members saying Cox had been found unresponsive. Deputies and EMS responded to two different locations provided by the family but could not find anyone, Moran said. 

Deputies have scoured the area on foot and on ATVs. The Winn Parish K-9 tracking team and deputies on horseback also are being used in the search. Teams have been in the area from until nightfall every day since Cox ran from deputies. 

Family members told deputies they believe Cox is still in the area; however, deputies have received conflicting statements, Moran said. 

Cox is wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office on criminal warrants for speeding 115 mph in a 75 mph zone, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony, illegal possession of stolen things valued over $5,000, criminal damage to property valued over $5,000 and several other traffic violations.

UPDATE #2 Friday night

NATCHITOCHES, La. - Natchitoches Parish sheriff's deputies have identified a suspect involved in this the 22-mile pursuit on I-49 that began south of Natchitoches and ended in a single-vehicle crash just south of Ajax.

The man, identified as Adrian A. Cox, 20, then ran into the woods and a swamp area. Agencies involved in the manhunt include Natchitoches Parish sheriff's deputies, Louisiana State Police, Louisiana State Police Air Support and the Winn Parish K-9 Tracking Team.

Deputies also used all-terrain vehicles and was assisted by Natchitoches Parish Fire District No. 7 with an amphibious all-terrain vehicle to search the area.

A National Crime Information Center Check revealed the 2014 Nissan Altima that Cox was driving had been stolen in Slidell. Cox has ties to St. Tammany Parish and the Fort Worth, Texas area.

Deputies were told Friday that Cox had been picked up by a female acquaintance and left the area. They also spoke with family members of Cox and asked that he turn himself in to law enforcement.

Deputies searched the Altima and found two handguns -- a Ruger .9mm and Ruger .380-caliber.

Cox is wanted by the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office on criminal warrants for speeding 115 mph in a 75 mph zone, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony, illegal possession of stolen things valued over $5,000, criminal damage to property valued over $5,000 and several other traffic violations.

Cox has a prior criminal history in St. Tammany Parish and Texas.

DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Deputies assisted briefly in the search this morning.

Detectives assigned to the NPSO Criminal Investigations Division and High Tech Crime Unit are also investigating who aided Cox in leaving the area.

UPDATE #1: Friday afternoon

NATCHITOCHES, La. -- Natchitoches Parish sheriff's deputies have called off the search for the driver who led them on a high speed chase before wrecking a stolen vehicle Friday morning.

Deputies believe the man was able to get a ride and has left the area.

ORIGINAL STORY: Friday morning

NATCHITOCHES, La. -- A search is underway near the Ajax exit on Interstate 49 for a man who led Natchitoches Parish sheriff's deputies on a high-speed chase in a stolen car, crashed it then ran, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies began pursuing the driver of the black Nissan Altima shortly after 8 a.m. after clocking it going 115 mph in a 75 mph zone. Deputies chased the driver for 22 miles before he crash near the exit.

The car, which has Purple Heart license plate, was stolen out of Slidell. A weapon was found inside, NPSO spokesman Tony Moran said.

DeSoto Parish sheriff's deputies and a state trooper are assisting NPSO in the search. The Winn Parish K-9 tracking team also is responding to help.

The driver is described as a black male with medium length dreadlocks. He was wearing a black shirt of coat.

Deputies ask if anyone sees the man to not approach him but contact the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office at 911 or 352-6432.

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