Jan 24, 2023

Inmates removed sink, climbed through wall to freedom

Posted Jan 24, 2023 10:00 PM
 Kelly McSean-St. Francois County Jail
Kelly McSean-St. Francois County Jail

FARMINGTON, Mo. (AP) β€” Authorities are piecing together how five inmates escaped from a Missouri jail.

The inmates escaped from the the St. Francois County Jail in Farmington, about 75 miles south of St. Louis on Jan. 17. All five were captured over the weekend.

 Michael Wilkins-St. Francois County Jail
Michael Wilkins-St. Francois County Jail

Chief Sheriff's Deputy Gregory Armstrong said that the inmates got into a cell that was supposed to be closed off due to plumbing repairs, removed the sink and toilet, climbed through the wall and made it down from the roof using a ladder that a contractor had left standing against the building. Jail cameras that would have captured them leaving were down due to the construction.

LuJuan Tucker-St. Francois County Jail
LuJuan Tucker-St. Francois County Jail

After escaping from the jail, the inmates ran to an office building parking lot and somehow found a car with the keys in it and a full tank of gas.

β€œThey just got lucky,” Armstrong said. β€œIt's a black eye, of course, that we didn't want. Sometimes things happen.”

Dakota D. Pace-St. Francois County Jail
Dakota D. Pace-St. Francois County Jail

All five inmates have criminal records that go back years.

The sheriff's department said in a statement that all five had been recaptured by mid-morning Saturday. One inmate was located at a second-hand retail store in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, on Friday morning.

Aaron W. Sebastian-St. Francois County Jail
Aaron W. Sebastian-St. Francois County Jail

The other four were apprehended in Ohio on Friday and Saturday.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said troopers tried to stop a suspected stolen car in Fairfield Township north of Cincinnati on Friday evening. The car fled and after a short chase, four people got out of it and ran. Troopers quickly captured two of them and arrested a third in West Chester Township to the south around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones told reporters on Saturday that a report of a suspicious person in a Liberty Township subdivision led a bloodhound to a parked car where the fourth inmate was found hiding in the backseat.