A Washington family of five stopped for gas around 3:30 am at Deano's where a robbery was currently taking place. Bad luck would force the family and suspects to collide.
Friday afternoon, hours after the chase the Missoula Sheriff's Department held a press conference to divulge more details as well as their continued efforts to apprehend the suspects.
According to the family's testimony, as they were driving away the family called police, where they were asked to stop and pull over near the interchange and wait for officers. At this time the witnesses believed they were safe, thinking the suspects had already drove past them.
The two suspects, a black man and light skinned man, had stolen a vehicle from Deano's and began to drive off.
According to the sheriff's department, minutes after the family first called they realized they were not safe. The suspects drove to the interchange, ditched the first car they stole and forced a hostage situate.
Two doors of the family's vehicle were two open, and they were met at gun point, the suspects then taking them hostage.
The first hostage to be let go was a 12-year-old boy. Next they let the 14-year-old girl go followed by the grandmother. The parents were kept in the vehicle for a time, before they were dropped off. They contacted police once they were let go.
Law enforcement said that the family is currently is good spirits, thankful to be unharmed and all together. According to the sheriff it was "rough [on the parents] to let their children out, let their children give them kisses goodbye and not know if they were going to see them again."
The witnesses are working with the detectives to help find the men responsible.
At this point law enforcement strongly believe the two men coordinated with an accomplice to pick them up. According to the family, the suspects were on the phone during the pursuit speaking with an unknown person.
At Sweetgrass Lane and Highway 93 North, the two men got out on foot. A trail picked up by K-9 units lead back to the highway. From there the trail is cold.
The route discovered by the K-9 unit and the fact that residence saw very little lead law enforcement to believe the accomplice was ready to pick the men up near the highway and take off. There's no consensus on which direction the men headed.
Their whereabouts are currently unknown, leading police to work with other agencies to find the suspects. There is also the possibility that these men are connected to other casino robberies in the area. Law enforcement don't feel confident making a conclusive comment on that though at this time.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police. These men are considered armed and extremely dangerous.