A suspect has been located in a strange incident in which a man walked into an Omaha hospital emergency room and told nurses he had a dead or dying friend in his car.
Deputies located 50-year-old Richard Thieben of North Platte in Monona County, Iowa.
The Douglas County Sheriff's Department said when nurses at Methodist Women's Hospital checked the vehicle they didn't see anyone inside. When they asked the man where his friend was, he pointed to the car and said, "He's sitting right there! Can't you see him?"
The hospital personnel did see two knives on the hood of the car. At that point they say Thieben removed the knives, got in the car and drove away.
In the early stages of the investigation, nearby West Dodge Station elementary went into lockdown for a short time. Students aren't back to school until Monday, but staff were in the building. Investigators said the suspect's car was spotted going past the school and a nearby car dealership.
Access to Methodist Women's Hospital was also limited while police officers and sheriff's deputies searched the nearby area but was never officially "locked down".
“Physical security measures are also in place and would have been activated if necessary." said Jeff Farmer, Security Team Leader at Methodist Women’s Hospital. "Based on the fact the individual left the premises so quickly and the span of incident was matter of minutes, because there was not a perceived threat to hospital patients, staff or visitors, hospital security did not feel a lock down was warranted.”
Early reports from investigators said the man had blood on him. Methodist officials want to make clear -- the staff did not see any blood on him or the car.
Sheriff's deputies used Thieben's cell phone information to find out which way he was traveling. He was stopped by a law officer in Iowa. He was not arrested.