Mark Lee
Mark Lee
May 16, 2014

A 27-year-old man was still at large at about 1 p.m. today after allegedly stabbing a woman in Carroll this morning.

Police believe Mark Lee, who has a prior domestic abuse assault charge, stabbed a woman sometime before 7 a.m. at 1308 N. Main St., where Lee is reportedly living, Carroll Police Chief Jeff Cayler said.

The Carroll Community and Kuemper Catholic School systems were locked down as police used search dogs to canvass the city for Lee. Authorities transported the stabbing victim to St. Anthony Regional Hospital. Cayler said he believed she was conscious when she was found and was life-flighted to Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines.

The woman's car was in the driveway at the Main Street house, Cayler said. He added that police have not found a potential weapon in the house and are not sure what was used in the alleged stabbing. At a little before 1 p.m., police were executing a search warrant at the home.

Lee is African-American, with short, dark hair. He is about 5-7, and police have his last known weight at 140 pounds. He was seen wearing dark blue jeans and a dark blue or black shirt, and he discarded his coat during the pursuit, Cayler said.

Cayler said there's not an immediate concern that anyone else will be harmed but that residents should keep their houses and cars locked, as the suspect might be searching for a place to hide.

Police would like anyone who sees someone fitting the description to immediately call 9-1-1, Cayler said.

"There's not enough of us out on the street looking for him," he said. "The public could be very helpful to us."

At one point during the search, Lee was several hundred feet from Cayler, the police chief said. Authorities saw him on the north end of Carroll, and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office used police dogs to search around an apartment building on Randall Road, where Lee had been spotted.

"I did speak with him on the phone briefly," Cayler said at about 11:30 a.m. "He shut the phone down. Hopefully he'll be calling us back."

Cayler added that police officers ran into a man who fit Lee's description "to a T" during the search.

"It was unusual in Carroll to find two people of that description, but obviously it wasn't (Lee)," the police chief said. "He was very cooperative."

He added that the man knew the victim, gave police officers information about her and drove with them during the search.

Police notified school officials about the stabbing this morning, Carroll Community School District Superintendent Rob Cordes said.

"We thought it was prudent on our part to lock down all our schools, which we did at 9:40 or 10 a.m.," he said. "No one goes out, and no one comes in, obviously, unless we know them."

He added that there were no police officers stationed at the schools, and the lockdown was simply precautionary. The stabbing did not involve anyone at the schools.

Kuemper Schools president Vern Henkenius said a warning call came in to the middle school principal Earl Schiltz around 9:30 a.m.

The exterior doors in all of Kuemper's buildings were locked as of 1 p.m., Henkenius said, stressing that educators were operating a "business-as-usual" school day inside the classrooms, with many students taking semester tests.

"The buses will run at the normal times," said Henkenius, who said he had consulted with Carroll Community School officials on the matter.

Lee received a deferred judgment for a Carroll County domestic abuse assault charge in 2011, which was revoked the next year when he violated the terms of his probation, and a judge formally convicted him of the assault charge, according to online court records. He was sentenced to 60 days of jail, but 58 of those days were suspended.

A judge ordered that Lee have no contact with the victim for one year, which ended in July 2012.

Online court records do not reveal Lee's victim in the assault, but they show that his wife, Shaunda Lee, filed for divorce in Fremont County in May 2012.

Witnesses outside the Fairview Village Apartments told the Daily Times Herald at one point they believed Lee had been seen near Camden Apartments on Grant Road.

Resident Dave Farrell said he saw a man who fits Lee's description in a neighbor's backyard in the 1400 block of North Main Street about 9 a.m.

"He was talking on his cellphone, standing behind a tree," Farrell said of the man. "We didn't know anything about a stabbing at that point, so we just went about our day."

At about noon, law-enforcement officers received a reported sighting in downtown Carroll.

"Parents, rightfully so, are very concerned," Henkenius said.

Both the Carroll and Kuemper schools were making up a snow day.

"It was supposed to be summer vacation," Henkenius said.