Stolen van recovered in Lexington, linked to missing Jessamine County fugitive

Posted at 1:46 PM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 18:04:21-04

NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (LEX 18) — We're learning more about a story that involves law enforcement in three counties, a stolen van, a violent crash and the ongoing search for a fugitive.

The Jessamine County Sheriff's Office says they tried to arrest Justin Waldrop on Sunday on three outstanding warrants. But after a brief physical encounter, deputies say he drove off in a stolen car.

Then, on Monday morning, Chief Deputy Willie Skeens with the Garrard County Sheriff's Department says tips came in indicating Waldrop was in the vicinity of Mt. Hebron Road.

They never found him in Garrard County, but a van was reported stolen on that road about the same time.

The chief deputy says that the van was found hours later, destroyed in a wreck in Lexington.

That vehicle belonged to the Lawson family who kept a specialized stroller for their daughter tucked inside.

"There's a sticker on the back of my car that says 'my daughter, my hero.' So I mean, it kind of signifies that this is a special needs, like, vehicle," said Emily Lawson. "Why would you take it? I have four children, there are car seats all in my van, there are toys in there. How can you just get in someone's van and take it?"

Chief Deputy Skeens says that was Waldrop behind the wheel.

When Lexington Police found the driver, they say he was injured and confirmed a false identification to officers.

By the time LPD realized who exactly the driver was, they say Waldrop had already left the hospital and is still at large.

Police are asking anyone who knows Waldrop's whereabouts, to let them know.

Any information regarding Waldrop's whereabouts or possible locations, contact Jessamine County Sheriff's Office at (859) 885-9512 or email our tips page anonymously at