Local News

'Most Wanted' fugitive back in Raleigh police custody

Posted November 9, 2011

— A Franklin County man on the run from Raleigh police for more than six years is back in North Carolina in police custody after being arrested last week in Mississippi.

Nathan Randall Pettigrew, 32, was transferred to the Wake County jail late Tuesday from Oceans Springs, Miss., to face a long list of charges, including first-degree kidnapping, larceny, assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and injury to personal property.

Pettigrew also faces charges of statutory rape and indecent liberties with a minor in Youngsville.

He was in jail Wednesday under a $4 million bond. During his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, he was appointed a public defender.

His next court date in Wake County is set for Nov. 30.

Ocean Springs police arrested Pettigrew last Tuesday at a traffic stop near his home there, where he had been living under the name Jason A. Kirkwood and working construction in a town still rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina.

He was wanted in Raleigh after he allegedly kidnapped his ex-girlfriend in August 2005. She was able to escape, but Pettigrew fled and hadn't been seen until Raleigh investigators developed information that he had been living in Oceans Springs under an alias.

Authorities said he had been under surveillance for several weeks.

In 2007, his case was featured several times on WRAZ-TV's crime show, "NC Wanted," and made national headlines when "America's Most Wanted" featured it in 2008.


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  • lonifaye892 Nov 9, 2011

    im glad they caught him fnally he needs to get what he deserves and hopefully justice seeks that he does! i hope his ex girlfriend is feeling safer now that he is caught and the girl that he raped or tried to rape im so glad they caught him he prolly would of did it again theres no telling..the world has one less bad person off th sreets thank god!

  • anonemoose Nov 9, 2011

    Bench, how can they be piling on charges? This was two separate incidents in two different counties. Totally different counties, Judicial Districts, LE agencies, and Magistrates.

    Whether he was lured or not, the saying is, "15 will get you 20".

  • bench Nov 9, 2011

    It was a 15 year old girl according to previous stories. I'm interested in justice, not vindictive punishment. In order to get justice in this case, I think you need to go back to the source of the trouble. What do the girl and her parents think about this now? Listen to the person or persons harmed to guide you to the correct punishment. If it wasn't rape and he wasn't a predator, I think there are better solutions than him rotting in jail for 30 years.

  • cschmidt1 Nov 9, 2011

    Actually some of what Bench says is true. Check this out: http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=54301

    I think, however Bench may be putting two separate incidents into one.

  • davidtew2005 Nov 9, 2011

    bench, you make littleor no sence. if it were coercion why did he run and use an alias? if he was on the run for 6 yrs who cares if he was "a young man whofalling to the lure of a girl". he was still 26 at the time. if she had been my daughter the death penalty would be what i would want for him. shame that don't apply for his crime.

  • randleman1972 Nov 9, 2011

    Where does it say that it was a 15 yo girl, Bench?

  • bench Nov 9, 2011

    I would like to hear more about the original statutory rape case. He panicked and ran, and the authorities are piling on the charges from that, but what about the 15 year old girl? How much was it rape and how much was he just a foolish young man falling to the lure of a girl who was too young under the law? Was it really coercion or was he thrown under the bus by a woman scorned or upset parents?