STONEHAM — After an intensive nightlong search, Massachusetts State Police fugitive unit troopers, an MSP K9 Unit, and US Marshals Service Task Force Officers successfully captured an accused child rapist in a Stoneham woodland area before dawn today.
The suspect, identified as 59-year-old Rickland Powell of Belmont, was found by the teams in a wooded area where he had attempted to take his own life.
MSP K9 Unit Trooper Christina Cavagnaro and her dog partner Thor played a crucial role in tracking Powell into the woods.
At around 3 a.m., the search team located Powell, who had hung himself from a tree.
Troopers and officers quickly intervened, cutting the suspect down.
Powell was still alive when found and was promptly transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment.
The Belmont Police Department had been investigating the case and had issued warrants for Powell’s arrest.
The charges included four counts of Rape of a Child with Force, four counts of Aggravated Statutory Rape, two counts of Indecent Assault and Battery on a Child Under 14, as well as charges for Posing a Child in a Sex Act and Distributing Obscene Material.
The allegations involve Powell raping a female child multiple times.
Following Powell’s capture, the Belmont Police took custody of him.
The Belmont Police had recently reached out to the MSP Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section (MSP VFAS) for assistance in locating Powell, which led to the collaboration with the USMS TFOs.
Additional support from the Cambridge Police and the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department was also instrumental in the search and apprehension of the suspect.