A Minnesota fugitive wanted for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend was found in Missouri on Saturday, according to authorities.
Matthew Dale Ceplecha, 32, was taken into custody by U.S. Fugitive Apprehension Bail Enforcement Investigators in Republic, Mo., after investigators received several witness accounts that brought them to a liquor store.
“We knew he was in that area based on social media and his history in that area,” said lead investigator Stew Peters. “We stumbled across him at a liquor store in Republic where we observed him walk in. We went in to grab him and he was at a liquor tasting table doing shots of bourbon.”
Peters said Ceplecha was taken into custody without incident and was being transported to the Rice County jail in Faribault on Saturday night.
Ceplecha had been on the run since April 13, when he failed to appear on charges of felony domestic assault by strangulation and misdemeanor domestic assault. Ceplecha also has an active warrant issued by the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office.
According to a newsletter by Faribault police, Ceplecha fled the scene of a reported domestic assault on Nov. 7. Two Faribault offers responded to a caller who told the officers she had come to her friend’s residence and saw her friend being assaulted by her boyfriend. She told the officers the suspect had his hands around the victim’s throat.
Ceplecha was arrested Nov. 11, but later failed to appear in court.