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Archive for Friday, May 4, 2007

Search for stabbing suspect closes schools

May 4, 2007

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— A rural school district canceled classes on Thursday while authorities search for a man accused of attempted murder.

Riley County Unified District 378 went into lockdown on Wednesday after authorities informed school officials that Seth Joyce, 38, of Leonardville, was believed to be within a few miles of the high school.

Lt. Kurt Moldrup of the Riley County Police Department said Joyce, a convicted felon, broke into a Leonardville home early Wednesday and attacked two people with a knife.

One of the victims, Bryce Williams, 25, was transported to Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan with nonlife-threatening wounds. The other victim, Tricia Heikes, 27, had minor injuries.

Moldrup said Joyce was still at-large Thursday. He is charged with attempted murder, aggravated battery, aggravated burglary and violation of a protection from abuse order.

Brad Starnes, superintendent of USD 378, said the decision to cancel classes on Thursday came after police said they had no new leads. School officials were concerned that Joyce might harm students who were waiting alone at bus stops.

"We really don't believe the assailant would come to school, be willing to do anything like that," Starnes said.

Several activities that were scheduled for Thursday were still planned, with parents transporting students and additional security on hand. Starnes said classes in the district, which has about 400 students at three schools, were likely to resume today.

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