Phillip Stroupe

Stroupe, 38, of Weaverville, was released from the Yancey County Detention Center. He had pleaded guilty to several armed robberies and the false imprisonment of his girlfriend and her friend in 1999 and had been in prison ever since. Stroupe was identified on Saturday as driving a vehicle involved in a breaking and entering near Mills River. Deputies said they tried to pull him over, but Stroupe refused to stop. During the pursuit, Stroupe pulled over and stole a mountain bike at gunpoint, deputies said. Shortly after, Stroupe rode the bike into the woods and became the focus of a massive five-day manhunt in three counties, deputies said. It is believed Stroupe kidnapped 68-year-old Thomas 'Tommy' Bryson who has not been found.