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Police Search Downtown Fort Worth For Escaped Murder Suspect

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Tarrant County Sherriff’s deputies are hunting an accused murder who fled after breaking the terms of his bond after failing a random drug test.

Deputies say David Merrill failed the drug test during a routine meeting with corrections officers in Fort Worth today.

“During the process of taking that test he was not told of the results,” said Sherriff’s Department Spokesman Terry Grisham. “He was told to simply sit down and we’ll be with you in a few minutes.”

Probation officers didn’t tell David Merrill they’d found methamphetamine in his system and they were going to get an arrest warrant. But, it seems Merrill figured it out on his own.

“Apparently, he realized what was happening and he simply walked out,” Grisham said. “It was not a case where he was in handcuffs. He was not chased after. We did not have a warrant in hand at that moment because the court hadn’t issued it.”

Nearby Tarrant County College went on lock down for a short time while officers searched for Merrill. But the accused murderer was nowhere to be found.

Merrill is accused of murdering his father-in-law, popular singer Rudy Mata, late last year.

Merrill was released on a 50-thousand dollar bond and was required to report to a probation officer as a condition of his bond.

Merrill has been described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 185 pounds. He has beard stubble and was last seen wearing a maroon, long sleeve t-shirt, a black leather jacket and jeans. He also has a large tribal tattoo on his chest.

The sheriff’s department says Merrill had followed the conditions of his release up until now.

Even so, they’re warning the public to be careful if they spot Merrill.

“Everyone should assume he’s armed and dangerous,” Grisham said. “No citizen should approach him at all. They should contact law enforcement immediately.”

You can call the Sheriff’s Department hotline if you have information on where Merrill is hiding from authorities. The number is 817-884-1213 or you can dial 911.

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