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Texas murder suspect arrested in Halifax had been on the run for months: police

Click to play video: 'Halifax police captures Texas murder suspect'
Halifax police captures Texas murder suspect
WATCH: 28-year-old Derek Cameron Whisenand now in the custody of the Canadian Border Services Agency after being captured in shoplifting incident. Elizabeth McSheffrey has more. – Dec 31, 2019

A 28-year-old man who was arrested in Halifax earlier this week after an alleged shoplifting incident had been on the run from murder charges for months, according to police.

Derek Cameron Whisenand was arrested on Monday in the Bayers Lake Business Park after police received a report of shoplifting from a business on Chain Lake Drive.

READ MORE: RCMP release new photos of Texas murder suspect possibly in Manitoba

When officers responded to the report and tried to arrest the suspect, police say he ran away. Whisenand was arrested about a half-hour after the initial call came in, according to police.

After checking his identity, police say officers discovered RCMP had been looking for Whisenand. RCMP say Whisenand illegally entered Canada near Haskett, Man., just north of Walhalla, N.D., earlier this year.

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Derek Whisenand is seen in this handout photo provided July 9, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department
Derek Whisenand is seen in this handout photo provided July 9, 2019.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Cavalier County Sheriff’s Department. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Cavalier County Sheriff's Department

RCMP say Whisenand crossed the border sometime during the week of June 24, 2019, and officers believe he may have travelled to Winnipeg or eastern Canada.

According to police, Whisenand is a suspect in the murder of 78-year-old Burton Duane Sanborn in Eastland, Texas, which is about 200 kilometres southwest of Dallas.

The Eastland County Sheriff’s Office said Sanborn was found dead in his home suffering from “severe trauma to the head.”

His death was later deemed a homicide, and Whisenand was identified as a suspect.

A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Whisenand’s arrest after it was discovered he had crossed the border.

READ MORE: Texas murder suspect jumped the border into Manitoba — RCMP

Surveillance video of Whisenand released by police appeared to show him in Winkler, Man., on the morning of June 26 as he made his way through the province.

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Later that morning, police said he made his way 40 kilometres north to the town of Carman.

RCMP say Whisenand was then able to get a ride to Winnipeg, where he was reportedly dropped off at Junior’s Restaurant on St. Mary’s Road. That was his last confirmed sighting, police say.

RCMP issued another public plea for information on Whisenand’s whereabouts in November, saying he may be armed and is considered dangerous.

At the time, police said he may have been travelling with a German shepherd/boxer or pit bull mix.

RCMP believed Whisenand may have been travelling with this dog. Submitted/RCMP

Whisenand remains in custody in Halifax as arrangements are being made to hand him over to the appropriate federal authorities.

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