Tryon man expresses concern over 911 call with no response

Published 3:10 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Tryon man says he is concerned that a 911 call he made on Sunday never got a response.

Seth Davis says he saw a red Jeep Liberty with Georgia plates on Sunday spinning its wheels coming out of Tryon around 5 p.m. He followed it to Harmon Field, called 911, stayed for about six minutes and no officers showed up. Davis said he called after hearing there was a national manhunt going on for University of Georgia professor George Zinkhan, who is accused of killing his wife and two other men on Saturday in Athens. Zinkhan, 57, left the scene Saturday in a red Jeep Liberty, according to news reports.

The Polk County Communications Department said it transferred that 911 call to the Tryon dispatch center after seeing no Polk County officers in the Tryon area. Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood says Tryon&squo;s two officers were interviewing suspects in a robbery case at the time in Columbus and the Tryon dispatcher was waiting for them to be cleared to send them. In the meantime, Davis came to the police department to discuss the sighting with the dispatcher. No officer went to Harmon Field.

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Arrowood and Polk County Communications Director Diane Rickman said their offices were unaware of the manhunt on Sunday. No alerts had been sent to them from Georgia regarding the manhunt, as happens frequently when a search is going on. Arrowood and Rickman both say Davis did not give a license plate number of the Jeep for officers to run.

According to national news media, Zinkhan owns property somewhere in North Carolina. He is known to be an avid outdoorsman, and some suspect he could be using the Appalachian Trail. The professor also is known to have contacts&bsp; in Amsterdam, so he is also suspected of fleeing the country.