Manhunt in Hart Co. Leads to Arrest of Seneca, SC Couple

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

A Seneca, South Carolina couple is behind bars in Hart County after a massive manhunt Tuesday afternoon spearheaded by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said his office received notice from the ATF’s Macon office that 29-year old Brandon Wayne Arnold and 25-year old Heather Elaine Frankum of Seneca, South Carolina may be in the area.

“We got a call from the ATF and gave us a heads up on what kind of vehicle they were in and why they might be in the area,” Cleveland said. “They also said they had search warrants and were conducting searches in the area.”

According to Cleveland, Arnold was wanted by the ATF for the illegal sale and trafficking of firearms.

Cleveland said the pair was trying to get to a house owned by Frankum’s family in Hart County.

Multiple local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies descended on Hart County late Tuesday afternoon in a search of the fugitive couple that lasted well into the night.

Sheriff Mike Cleveland said the couple ditched the white van they were driving and got out on foot and ran.

Cleveland said that is when he and another deputy received information from witnesses that the pair had run into some cow pastures.

“They had spotted one of our cars and bailed out of their van,” he said. “It was just one cattle gate after another. We got about a half mile when we could see the cows all looking in the same direction. The cows could see them where we could not because there was a wood line there.”

Once he realized where they might be hiding, Cleveland said he called in the Georgia State Patrol’s helicopter, with a heat-seeking device, for help.

“The screen on the heat seeking device shows the outline of the person. He was lying down in a ravine and she was hiding in an old deer stand,” Cleveland said.

So far, the ATF has not released the exact charges against Arnold.

Frankum is charged in Hart County with obstruction of law enforcement.