INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – Investigators in Independence County are looking for someone possibly posing as a police officer after a Saffell woman reported being followed earlier this week.
Whitney Bell, 20, says she left work at Josie's Restaurant in Batesville around 9:30 Thursday evening. She took her normal route back home, turning off on what locals call the Moorefield Cutoff. That's when she noticed a white car following too close for comfort.
"I was freaked out because I was like this is crazy. This is just not right," Bell said. "If they wanted to pass me, if I was going too slow, they had many opportunities to pass me between Moorefield Cutoff and Cord."
Bell says the car followed her more than 20 miles, as she made her way to Cord. She approached her last turn home when the driver behind her started flashing a red, white and blue light from the dash. She says she knew then that this was someone posing as a police officer.
"For one the lights were on the inside of the car, and I'd always been taught never stop for a vehicle with the lights on the inside of the car," Bell explained. "I thought if it's a cop, then it can follow me all the way home, and they can talk to me there."
Bell says the car tried to cut her off after she turned past Cord, so she started to speed up and eventually lost the person following her.
"When I got home, I told my parents about it, and we called the sheriff," she said. "We were talking to him, and he said this wasn't the first this has happened recently."
Authorities in Northern Mississippi suspect two people were killed last month after stopping for a fake police officer, so Bell realizes she may have saved her own life by trusting advice she never imagined she would have to use.
"It's something to watch out for definitely," Bell said, "even men, especially women but even men, because you never know what can happen."
If anyone has information about this suspected police impersonator, please call the Independence County Sheriff's Office at 870-793-8838.