BREVARD, N.C. (AP) – As the search for an armed suspect believed to be in a national forest in North Carolina entered its third day, access restrictions derailed visitors’ plans and disrupted local businesses.
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports authorities continued to keep hundreds of acres of the Pisgah National Forest off-limits to hikers, bikers and campers as seven law enforcement agencies searched for 38-year-old Phillip Michael Stroupe II.
The forest along U.S. 276 had been evacuated Saturday, including popular areas such as Looking Glass Falls, Sliding Rock and the Cradle of Forestry.
Transylvania County Sheriff’s Capt. Jeremy Queen says that around 10,000 people usually come through the area on a summer’s day, though police hadn’t evacuated that many people. Local businesses said they had lost significant business during the most lucrative time of year.