Law snares fugitive, charges him with murder

By Brian Knox | Published Wednesday, December 4, 2013
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A man wanted in connection with an Oklahoma murder from 2001 was arrested in southern Wise County Monday evening.

Garland Paul Allen

Garland Paul Allen, 49, of Hillsboro was arrested around 8 p.m. Monday in a wooded area off County Road 4757 near Van Meter Crossing between Newark and Boyd. A second-degree murder warrant from Jackson County, Okla., had been issued for Allen last Tuesday, Nov. 26. He is accused of killing his ex-wife, Tracy Lynn Allen, sometime around May 1, 2001.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said his office received information that Allen had been staying in his vehicle in the Keeter area. His investigators worked on the case and tracked him down in the wooded area.

“They actually found him in the woods near Van Meter,” Walker said. “He had food and a sleeping bag with him.”

Allen was taken into custody without incident and taken to the Wise County Jail.

Walker said that in addition to his criminal investigations division, patrol deputies and Rhome and Boyd police departments also assisted with the search and arrest.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Allen had not confessed to the murder, Walker said.

Allen’s car was later found at a Chevron gas station across from the Wise County Fairgrounds in Decatur. Walker said the investigation continues, and more arrests could take place if they find evidence someone locally was helping to hide Allen.

Altus, Okla., Police Chief Tim Murphy said Tracy Allen disappeared in 2001, and her ex-husband has always been a suspect.

“We believe he rolled up her body in carpet and disposed of her in an unknown location,” Murphy said. “We still haven’t located her body.”

Murphy said when questioned at the time of his ex-wife’s disappearance, Allen claimed she had run off with another man.

Over the years, three different investigators have looked at the case and tried to come up with the evidence for a murder charge.

“About five years ago, I assigned Bill Perkins to the case, and he came up with the idea to have someone give some fresh eyes to the case,” Murphy said. “We contacted the show ‘Cold Justice,’ and they came in. What they found, I don’t know. But it was enough for our district attorney to file the warrant for an arrest.”

Murphy said the Allens had two children, ages 3 and 5 at the time of Tracy Allen’s disappearance. He said Allen took his kids to his mother in Lone Wolf, Okla., in 2001 and she has raised his children since that time.

According to online records, Tracy filed for divorce on Sept. 1, 2000. Just a week earlier, she had filed a petition for a protective order for herself and her two children against Allen. That same week, records show Allen was arrested for domestic abuse-assault and battery in the presence of minor children, child stealing, first-degree burglary and robbery by force or fear. Records indicate Allen pleaded guilty to the domestic abuse charge while the state dropped the other three charges in exchange for a probated sentence on Jan. 16, 2001.

Allen is being held in the Wise County Jail without bond until he can be extradited back to Oklahoma. Altus is located 160 miles northwest of Decatur.

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