Search continues for murder suspect over holiday weekend

Nicholas Rucker

CORBIN — A murder suspect that has been fleeing law enforcement for nearly a week was possibly seen near Interstate 75 Exit 25 in Corbin.

Corbin Police Department is reporting that at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday the department received information that Nicholas M. Rucker, 38, of Corbin was seen entering the Mt. View Lodge at Exit 25 in Corbin.

Corbin Police, Whitley County Sheriff's Office, Kentucky State Police and Williamsburg Police Department are in the area using K-9 units and helicopters attempting to locate Rucker.

Rucker was last seen wearing jeans, no shirt and barefoot.

Rucker is considered armed and dangerous. If anyone has information on Rucker's location, please call 911 immediately.

Rucker has a warrant out for his arrest for a murder charge, stemming from a fatal shooting that occurred in Woodbine on Wednesday.

Rucker was the boyfriend of the victim, Vicki S. Conner, 57, of Corbin.

At approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday KSP Post 11, London received a call from the Whitley County 911 about a shooting that had taken place at a residence on KY 1064 in the Woodbine community of Whitley County.

Conner was pronounced deceased at 814 KY 1064 by the Whitley County Coroner's Office Wednesday night. The circumstances surrounding the shooting were still unclear as of press time Monday night and the investigation was continuing.

Whitley County Sheriff's Department made a post on its Facebook page at 4:23 p.m. Sunday that said, "Numerous law enforcement agencies are in the area of Prewitt Bend searching for Nicholas Rucker. Please use caution in this area as K-9 units and air units are searching for this person. He was first seen in Croley Bend and has moved into the Prewitt Bend area..."

A heavy law enforcement presence was noted by residents in Whitley County throughout the holiday weekend.

On Monday morning the Whitley County Sheriff's Office posted the following on its Facebook page: "Monday, May 27, at approximately 2:30, Sheriff Todd Shelley recognized Nicholas Rucker while answering a complaint in the area of HWY 511 in Woodbine-Henry Barton Road. Sheriff Shelley pursued Nicholas Rucker on foot while multiple agencies joined the pursuit. Troopers from KSP, agents from the Forestry Department, Corbin Police, the Laurel County Sheriff's Office and deputies from Whitley County Sheriff's Department searched for hours into the night along with 2 air units. At the time, he is still on the run. If you see Nicholas Rucker, call 911 immediately. DO NOT wait to call as this slows response time significantly. He is armed and dangerous and we will continue to pursue this person. Please be alert to your surroundings and do not approach Nicholas Rucker. We will post any updates as they are made available. We are working continuously to locate and capture Nicholas Rucker."

Conner’s body was to been taken to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort for an autopsy that was been scheduled for Thursday. No update from the results of that autopsy was available as of press time Monday.

KSP Detective Dackery Larkey is continuing the investigation. He was assisted at the scene by troopers from Post 11, Whitley County Sheriff’s Office, Corbin Police Department, Williamsburg Police Department and Whitley County Coroner’s Office.

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Rucker has a past criminal history that includes murder and was just recently released from jail.

According to a August 29, 1998 article in The Times-Tribune, Rucker was indicted for murder of his son by a Laurel County grand jury just days after Rucker’s 18th birthday. “The indictment against him says his 3-month-old son Kyle Rucker, born Jan. 8, never got the chance to see his first birthday, thanks to his father,” John Butwell wrote in that Aug. 29, 1998 article.

The article says the indictment charged Rucker with murder by shaking his baby son.

Rucker was sentenced to 20 years for the murder charge on April 19, 1999.

On Sept. 12, 2015 he was arrested on various traffic violations and for operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.

On Feb. 4, 2016, he was arrested for public intoxication of controlled substances and third-degree criminal trespassing, according to JailTracker.

In May 2016 he was arrested on three bench warrants, according to JailTracker.

On April 25, 2017 he was arrested for various traffic violations and for operating a vehicle on a suspended or revoked license.

On Oct. 5, 2017 he was arrested for second-degree burglary and theft by unlawful taking of $500 or more but less than $10,000. According to JailTracker, he was released on those charges on Feb. 9, 2018.

Most recently he was arrested on charges of buying or possessing drug paraphernalia and possession of a handgun by convicted felon. He also had two bench warrants. According to JailTracker, he was released from Laurel County Detention Center on March 27, 2019.

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