Ohio burglary suspect caught naked after car chase

PLINY, W.Va. (AP) - A burglary suspect who jumped into a river to elude police after a two-state car chase was found naked beneath a pile of blankets in a house.

Anthony Troy Seyler, 37, of Middleport, Ohio, is accused of leading officers on a 30-mile chase that started about 2 a.m. Monday in Gallipolis in southeast Ohio.

Officers in the Ohio River town started following a car that was cruising through a mobile home park with its headlights off, but it took off, Gallipolis Police Chief Roger Brandeberry said.

Once they crossed the bridge into West Virginia, the officers were joined by Henderson police and the Mason and Putnam county sheriffs' departments, he said.

In Pliny, a deputy forced the car onto a street that dead-ends near the Kanawha River, police said.

Seyler stopped his car and ran. He was tracked by a police dog to the edge of the river, where authorities believe he jumped in.

The water temperature was in the low 40s, the National Weather Service said.

"He was apparently highly motivated," Brandeberry said.

Deputies called in a State Police helicopter to help with the manhunt.

Then, at a house along the riverbank, a deputy noticed an open screen door. Inside, Putnam County Deputy Scott Tolley found the suspect naked and trying to get warm beneath some blankets. It is not certain when or why Seyler shed his clothes.

The home's residents were on vacation in Florida, Putnam County Chief Deputy John Dailey said.

Seyler was charged with burglary, fleeing an officer, destruction of property, and driving with a suspended license. He also faces a felony fleeing count in Ohio, authorities said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)