NewsCovering Kern County


New details about manhunt for Stephen Houk before arrest in Barstow

Posted at 12:28 PM, May 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-04 12:30:53-04

UPDATE: According to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Stephen Houk found shelter in a library in Bakersfield, went to a homeless shelter to get food, and then got on a train that he thought was heading to Arizona.


Officials captured sex offender Stephen Merle Houk in a Barstow rail car at 4:30 p.m. Thursday. He has been booked in the LA Sheriff's Department Lancaster substation for kidnapping, assault with a deadly weapon, criminal threats, domestic violence, and various other charges. 

Houk is being held on $1 million bail.

According to LASD, Hauk was located at a Barstow rail yard hiding inside a compartment of an empty rail car where detectives from the Fugitive Task Force took him into custody.

LASD says the investigation is ongoing and a weapon has not been recovered.

Originally, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Major Crimes Bureau detectives said they were still searching for wanted parolee Stephen Merle Houk Thursday, after he alluded police from Los Angeles to Kern County where he later took off on foot after running out of gas in his RV. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau detectives continued searching for Houk for the last two days. Houk a Parolee who was wanted for sex crimes out of the state of Oregon (WNO #14556869), was also wanted out of Santa Clarita for assault with a deadly weapon, child abduction, terrorist threats, and evading. 

He is a registered sex offender in Oregon. In 2002, he was convicted of sodomy after sexually touching a child younger than 12 years old between 1999 and 2002. He served eight years then was released in 2010. In 2016, Oregon officials say he violated his parole, not updated them on his change of address. They said they issued a warrant for his parole violation and haven't seen him since.

There is no further information available at this time.