Most wanted suspect arrested in Merced

A family dispute ended Wednesday with three children in protective custody and a “Most Wanted” suspect behind bars.

Johnnie Demond Miles was found hiding in a closet of his girlfriend’s home in the 400 block of Lesher Drive, Merced police Capt. Bimley West said.

Miles, 37, was listed Wednesday as a Merced County Sheriff’s Department’s “Most Wanted” suspect in connection with a warrant charging him with felony counts of stalking and making criminal threats.

Details of the warrant were not immediately available.

Police said Miles was hiding inside an apartment rented by Nicole Edwards, his girlfriend, and her three young children.

“One of her children called police, saying (Edwards) had made some type of threat to harm her,” West said. “The (8-year-old) child also said there was an AK-47 rifle in the house.”

Edwards denied having any weapons and allowed police to search her home, police said.

Officers found only an aerosol-powered “toy gun that looked real,” West said.

However, officers did find Miles hiding in a locked closet. He was taken into custody on the outstanding warrant and booked at the Merced County jail. He remained in custody Wednesday evening in lieu of $250,000 bail, according to jail records.

Edwards, 30, was arrested on suspicion of harboring a felon. She was still in custody Wednesday evening with bail set at $50,000, the Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

The 8-year-old child and her two younger siblings were turned over to Child Protective Services, police said.