Great Smoky Mountains National Park Rangers are searching in the Park for a Sevierville, Tenn. man wanted in connection to a first degree murder charge in Pinellas County, Fla. where authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest.
Investigators have determined that James Quilliams, 40, may have been dropped off near Gatlinburg early in the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 15 by a woman companion who was arrested for a DUI at 6:45 a.m. by Pigeon Forge Police Department. Pigeon Forge officers alerted area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Quilliams at approximately 9a.m.
Rangers have received several reports of visitor sightings of an individual in the Sugarlands area identified as possibly matching the description provided by Pigeon Forge Police Department. Rangers have been searching area trails and roads. More than a dozen Rangers continue to search for the subject matching the description of Quilliams, who is believed to be on foot, in the Sugarlands area.
Rangers do not believe the individual poses a high risk to employees or the public at this time as he has not exhibited threatening behavior towards the general public. Visitors should not pick up any hitchhikers and should continue to exercise caution in the area.
Please report any sightings of individuals matching the description of Quilliams immediately to local law enforcement agencies. Park Rangers are working in coordination with Pigeon Forge Police Department, Gatlinburg Police Department, Sevier County Sheriff’s Office, and Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office.