Kentucky State Police have charged two women in the robbery and murder of an 86-year-old woman in Rockcastle County.
Tabitha Howard, 30, of Mount Vernon, and Kimberly Dale Slusher, 35, of the Livingston community in Rockcastle County, were being held in the Rockcastle County jail.
They are accused in the death of Mary A. Hinton, 86, of Livingston, who died of apparent blunt-force trauma. A Rockcastle County deputy sheriff found Hinton dead in her house late Tuesday night while conducting a welfare check.
State police said the house showed signs of a home invasion.
When Trooper Scottie Pennington went to interview Howard in Mount Vernon, police said, she "took off running into the woods."
Pennington was unable to find her, so a state police canine unit and aircraft were called for a search.
The tracking dog found Howard and Slusher "hiding in a briar thicket," police said. "They would not come out with their hands up after being told several times to come out. It was believed they were in possession of a firearm."
The two women were both bitten by a state police dog and were arrested. Howard "admitted she had been using drugs," police said.
In addition to first-degree robbery and murder, Howard is charged with second-degree burglary, tampering with evidence, fleeing police, public intoxication by a controlled substance and resisting arrest.
Slusher faces all those charges plus possession of drug paraphernalia. A used needle was found inside her pants pocket when she was arrested, police said. Slusher told police that the liquid inside the needle was methamphetamine.
Slusher was booked into the jail late Wednesday night and Howard was booked early Thursday morning.