North Idaho

Search for kidnapping suspect stretches across Northwest

POST FALLS, Idaho - The search for Mitchell Walck, a man described by authorities as both desperate and dangerous, is continuing across the northwest Tuesday.

Walck, 57, allegedly shot at an Idaho State Police officer and kidnapped a 62-year-old woman in Rathdrum and later dropped her off in eastern Montana. The victim is back in North Idaho and has been interviewed by investigators.

Powell County, MT. Sheriff Scott Howard knows all too well how dangerous Walck is. He had to deal with him during a 2001 standoff. After he was taken into custody, Walck, while being held in isolation, managed to beat an officer who was trying to deliver his medicines.

Walck manhunt

Sheriff Howard clearly recalls the details of what happened over a decade ago and hopes Walck is found soon. This last weekend local law enforcement reached out Sheriff Howard because they wanted to know more about their suspect. 

"That was like deja vu all over again," Sheriff Howard said.

As north Idaho officers recounted what happened, Howard was spot on with his prediction of what Walck was capable of doing.

"I said if he is on foot he will try to find an abandoned house where he can hole up. Or he's going to take someone hostage or go in a house and wait for someone to come and take them as hostage," Howard said.

And that's just what he did. On Saturday, Walck allegedly kidnapped a 62-year-old Rathdrum woman, stole her car and two rifles and then drove her all the way to Glendive, MT., more than 11 hours east of Rathdrum.

Howard, recalling the 2001 standoff, said Walck is unstable.

"He would do goofy things like open up a window, leave the rifle inside the house, jump out, dance around and dive back thorough the window," he said.

When he was behind bars, Walck made death threats against the sheriff and beat an officer delivering his medications. That's when Walck was sentenced to ten years behind bars.

Sheriff Howard said Walck was diagnosed with a mental illness, but is still capable of telling right from wrong. He heard from law enforcement officials in Montana that Walck may think he killed at least one officer last weekend in Rathdrum.

That will play out in how he responds the next time he has a confrontation with law enforcement.

"I think he is extremely dangerous at this time with that on his mind. There's not much left to lose," Howard said.

The FBI is offering $20,000 for information leading to Walck's arrest. If you have any tips you need to call the Kootenai County Sheriff's Department at (208) 446-1300.