Wanted Fugitive, Three Other People Arrested at Aetna Township Residence

A wanted fugitive and three other people were arrested Wednesday at a residence in Aetna Township in Mecosta County.

On Wednesday, deputies from the Mecosta County Sheriff’s Office received information regarding the whereabouts of a wanted fugitive who was reportedly armed. It was also reported that there were two additional females at the residence.

Officers responded to the scene and encountered multiple subjects outside the residence. The suspect, Aaron Fankhauser, fled on foot into a swampy area behind the residence and was apprehended by the Mecosta County and Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office K9 officers. The other two individuals who were initially encountered outside were detained. The Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team (ERT) also located a female hiding in the residence and took her into custody.

Law enforcement recovered two handguns found in the residence. There was also stolen property recovered, including a stolen enclosed snowmobile trailer and two stolen snowmobiles inside. The stolen property was stolen out of Kent County.

Fankhauser, 43, was arraigned on two counts of firearms possession by a felon, two counts of felony firearms and possession of stolen property. He remains in custody on a $75,000 bond.

Shawn Nielsen, 37, was arraigned on two counts of firearms possession by a felon, two counts of felony firearms and possession of stolen property. She remains in custody on a $35,000 bond.

Sarah Ballard, 42, was arraigned on one count of possession of methamphetamine and remains in custody on a $35,000 bond.

Walter Geistel, 51, was arrested on three warrants and released on a $2,000 bond.