Fort Riley, Kansas



Catching 7th most wanted fugitive in the Army

By Hannah Kleopfer | 1ST INF. DIV. POST | December 29, 2015

Cpl. Justin Hawks helped catch the 7th most wanted fugitive of the Army thanks to his persistent efforts in finding Facebook profiles and phone numbers for relatives of the fugitive, Maurice Crutchfield. Hawks has been on the job since July 1 and was looking for Crutchfield during the majority of his time here so far.

“I started going through files we have and I found his, and it just looked like a gold mine because so many people have been looking for him,” Hawks said. “So I started trying to find different avenues that no one had gone down before.”

Crutchfield was wanted for aggravated battery after shooting an Uzi into a crowd of Soldiers at Fort Carson in the 1990s and has been hiding from authorities for more than 20 years. He was living under an alter-ego, which Hawks had to find in order to get a warrant.

“His ex-wife was an instrumental part in finding him,” Hawks said. “I had found his alter-ego, but I needed proof in order to get a warrant. His ex confirmed that it was him so we could get the warrant.”

During the three months Hawks spent trying to find Crutchfield, he said he spent many tedious hours on the computer and calling friends and family of Crutchfield. He said having good social skills was beneficial to talking when people who were strangers and getting them to trust him. He finds having the right people skills is important to his job.

However, it was not all smooth sailing while looking for Crutchfield. While working with the United States Marshals from the Pentagon who were looking for Crutchfield as well, Hawks came across his Facebook page. He sent him a message from an anonymous account and Crutchfield then blocked his account, which stopped the marshals from subpoenaing the account.

“I just wanted to give up after that,” Hawks said. “But then the marshals told me not to quit because I was dedicated to going out and finding information and I was becoming an instrumental part in finding him.”

When marshals contacted Hawks saying they had captured Crutchfield, he said it felt great.

“I mean being told by marshals that you were an instrumental part in finding someone, I think anyone would find that cool,” Hawks said.

Hawks’ boss, Lt. Michael McLain said he was proud of all the work and effort Hawks had done.

“We’re 100 percent for finding runaways from the 1st Infantry Division, but it’s not very often that we actually capture a fugitive in the Army’s top 25,” McLain said. “This is a great achievement.”