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Suspect in rape, stabbing of girl is captured

Sheriff: 13-year-old in critical condition


(CNN) -- A trucker who authorities said raped a 13-year-old girl, stabbed her repeatedly and left her tied to a tree in a remote area of Illinois was captured Monday evening after an exhaustive manhunt in neighboring Indiana.

Ronnie Johnson, 53, was taken into custody about 6:15 p.m. (7:15 p.m. ET) in a cornfield along Interstate 70 between Terre Haute and Indianapolis, authorities said. Nearly a dozen federal, state and local law enforcement agencies participated in the search, which began Sunday.

Authorities began the manhunt after the severely wounded girl flagged down a motorist and told him what had happened. She said she had untied herself from the tree and walked about a half-mile to the road. The motorist called 911, authorities said.

Authorities said Johnson -- a registered sex offender in Illinois because of an assault several years ago on a minor -- kidnapped the girl in Paris, Illinois, and repeatedly raped her. He then tied her to a tree in a secluded area and stabbed her numerous times, authorities said.

The Edgar County, Illinois, Sheriff's Department said the girl was in a hospital in critical condition Monday evening.

Authorities said they learned Johnson fled to Indiana overnight, and the manhunt intensified. His truck was found, and one local resident said a man fitting his description had been seen running toward a 40 acre cornfield.

Four helicopters searched the area while authorities surrounded the cornfield. A dog eventually flushed Johnson from the field, and he surrendered, authorities said.

Illinois authorities want Johnson brought back to Edgar County, where he is wanted on sexual assault, kidnapping and attempted murder charges.

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