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UPDATE: Suspect sought in I-94 pursuit identified

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Dunn County sheriff's authorities on Tuesday released images of Cody C. Forbes and Destiny A. Willage-Solano as occupants in a vehicle suspected of leading officers on a two-state pursuit on Interstate 94. (Submitted photos)2 / 2

An eastern Wisconsin man remained at large after evading police during a high-speed chase, running off on foot and then possibly stealing a vehicle in Menomonie, according to authorities.

Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith identified the suspect as 29-year-old Neenah, Wis., resident Cody C. Forbes. Authorities said he was one of two people suspected in high-value thefts around the Twin Cities, who then led officers from multiple agencies on a pursuit Monday from Woodbury to the Menomonie area.

According to multiple reports, the incident began around 7:30 p.m. at the Cabela’s store in Woodbury, where two people were seen running from the store after a suspected shoplifting incident.

Dunn County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Kevin Bygd said the suspects, later identified as Forbes and 21-year-old Destiny A. Willage-Solano, were suspected in a recent theft of about $5,000 in merchandise at a Twin Cities Wal-Mart. Cabela’s security guards recognized the two from alerts while they were at the store, Bygd said.

That set off an approximately 54-mile pursuit on Interstate 94 into Wisconsin, where officers reported speeds reaching 115 mph as the suspects allegedly fled in a 2006 white Ford Mustang.

Three officers from Woodbury, the Wisconsin State Patrol, St. Croix County and Dunn County were among agencies that pursued the suspects at varying points in the chase, the audio from which can be heard here.

Bygd said Dunn County deputies placed spike strips on Highway 25 as the car headed south off the interstate toward Menomonie.

The car doubled back north on Highway 25 and suspects jumped out of the moving car after it ran over the spikes, Bygd said.

“They probably figured out their trek was short-lived,” he said.

Willage-Solano was apprehended, but Forbes allegedly kept running. According to the sheriff’s department, 911 callers in the north Menomonie area reported a man going door-to-door asking for a ride. A search of the area didn’t turn up the suspect, but Menomonie police later reported a stolen vehicle in the area.

“This was close to the area where Forbes was last seen and it is believed the two incidents are related,” Smith said.

The stolen vehicle was described as a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited bearing the license plates HW3271. The Jeep reportedly had several hunting stickers on the back, as well as a sticker of a husky dog.

Willage-Solano, 21, was arrested and jailed in Dunn County on a warrant hold. She was initially hospitalized for injuries sustained from jumping out of the vehicle.

Willage-Solano has a lengthy criminal history in Wisconsin, with her most recent conviction in 2016 in Outagamie County for prostitution. She reported a Neenah, Wis., address then, but Bygd said it appeared she and the male suspect had been living recently in Minnesota.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

(715) 426-1072
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