Deputies from the sheriff’s departments of Dunn and Barron counties used a Rice Lake K9 officer and also requested a drone in what turned out to be a fruitless search Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2019, for a wanted fugitive in a rural area west of Ridgeland, according to information from both departments and Barron County Circuit Court records.
Authorities identified the suspect as 33-year-old Holly M. Barnett, who has been the subject of a statewide bench warrant since she failed to show up for court almost a year ago in connection with fleeing and eluding an officer, second-degree reckless endangerment and drunk driving.
Barnett, a former resident of Menomonie, is also wanted on three other warrants out of several counties, according to Marshall Multhauf, chief deputy, Dunn County Sheriff’s Department.
The chase began when Dunn County deputies reported they were in foot pursuit of a suspect, later identified as Barnett, near a home in the 14000 block of Dunn County Hwy. VV, about three miles southwest of Ridgeland.
Barron County dispatch logs indicate that Dunn County requested help from Barron County deputies and, later, a K9 officer on duty that night with the Rice Lake Police Department.
A perimeter was set up at about 8 p.m. near the residence and a wooded area to the south. At about 8:30 p.m., Barron County authorities requested a drone to assist in the search.
According to Multhauf, Dunn County authorities decided to discontinue the search at about 9 p.m. Oct. 29.
The suspect remains at large. Multhauf referred readers to the Dunn County Sheriff’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/dunncountysheriff/ for further information and/or to report information about the suspect through Dunn County Crimestoppers.
According to a complaint filed in September 2017, Barnett was at the wheel of a Chevy Cavalier that reached speeds in excess of 100 mph in a chase that started in the village of Dallas and led through rural areas between Dallas and Ridgeland before she was arrested.
The complaint charged Barnett with fleeing and eluding, second-degree reckless endangerment, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, second offense, possession of marijuana, and driving while revoked. Combined, the charges carry penalties of up to 15 and one-half years behind bars and/or fines of up to more than $36,000.
According to Barron County Circuit Court records, Barnett failed to show up for a hearing on her case on Dec. 13, 2018. A statewide bench warrant was issued for her arrest at that time.