New details on Dog the Bounty Hunter joining Mansfield fugitive search: ‘He is on board with us’

MANSFIELD, Ohio-- Federal, state and local authorities continued their search for Shawn Christy on Thursday, returning to some of the same wooded areas that have already been searched in the previous four days.

Christy is believed to have crashed a truck stolen from Pennsylvania alongside Interstate 71 near Mansfield on Sunday.

He was already wanted on local warrants out of Pennsylvania, and federal charges related to making threats toward police and President Donald Trump.

The U.S. Marshal Service on Thursday said they still believe Christy is hiding in the Mansfield area.

In the meantime, Duane Chapman, also known as 'Dog the Bounty Hunter,' is still believed to be joining the search.

Craig Christy, Shawn's father, told FOX 8 News he believes the celebrity bounty hunter will have better success finding his son and getting him to surrender than the dozens of agents and officers that have been looking for him for months.

"That's absolutely correct; in fact, he is on board with us. We are extremely excited to have Duane Chapman with his experience and his expertise, and we feel that this will benefit us -- getting Shawn in safely with a soft capture-- and will mitigate any problems that Shawn might have with the U.S. Marshals, who seem to be a little escalated right now in the way they are treating this case," Craig Christy told FOX 8 by phone on Thursday.

Chapman was already coming to Mansfield for a September 28 appearance at the Renaissance to talk about the opioid crisis.

The appearance is at the invitation of Gina Powell, who owns AA Bail Bonds in Galion and who does bounty hunting herself.

Powell also believes Chapman might have an advantage over the authorities who Christy believes to be corrupt and does not trust.

"He could probably get this guy to turn himself in, you know? Christy might just say 'it's Dog.' He might come to him before he will come to a police officer," said Powell.

"I have had people tell me that when I have talked to them with active warrants and knowing we were going to hunt them down -- they have called me and said, 'I will turn myself into you and not police,'" she added.

"That's why I think Shawn would be an advantage for them that he may surrender himself to 'Dog,' that 'Dog' might be able to lure him in just, you know, befriending him, so to speak."

Christy's father also told FOX 8 News on Thursday he believes there is a chance his son is no longer in the Mansfield area.

Craig Christy said his son has written letters saying he intended to go to Canada and that has been his plan.

He also told FOX 8 News he has not had any direct contact with his son since June and that he cannot say what information, if any, Dog the Bounty Hunter, might have that federal authorities do not.

Both Chapman and Craig Christy believe Shawn is not armed and is not a threat.

"I'm really not at liberty to say where he (Chapman) might have got that information because I wouldn't know," said Christy.

Craig Christy also repeated the message to his son asking him to surrender.

"Shawn is not a threat to anybody and I would just ask Shawn, if you hear this, please surrender."

But federal authorities are taking no chances.

"Dog the Bounty Hunter can believe whatever he wants. I'm not going to go too much into that but law enforcement believes that he is armed," said Deputy U.S. Marshal Anne Murphy, who also told FOX 8, authorities have not yet heard anything from Duane Chapman about his intention to help with the search.

"We will work on that when he shows up," said Murphy.

And authorities vow not to back off on their search for Christy until he is in custody.

"We are going to continue to operate the way we have been operating the last four days, and that's with our law enforcement personnel here in this area, our federal partners, and our state and local partners."

"We will continue the search; the Marshal Service will continue to arrest our guy, whether he is here in Mansfield, back in Pennsylvania or flees to another state. The Marshal Service will remain on this case," said Murphy.

The Marshal Service is also continuing to urge anyone with a tip to notify their agency immediately and to keep their homes and cars secured.

*Continuing coverage*