Escaped Missouri inmate captured, two others remain on the run

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1 min read

(Reuters) – One of three inmates who escaped a Missouri jail last week by cutting holes in the plaster ceiling of their cells has been captured nearly 1,000 miles (1,610 km) away in Wyoming, a county sheriff said.

Christopher Blevins, 37, was taken into custody on Wednesday in Casper, Wyoming, about 950 miles (1,530 km) northwest of the Cassville, Missouri, jail where he and fellow inmates Lance Stephens, 29, and Matthew Crawford, 29, escaped on Friday, the Barry County Sheriff’s Office said on Facebook.

The men cut holes in the ceiling of their cells and crawled to a maintenance door that led outside, officials told local media. Officials offered no information on how long the inmates had been gone before guards noticed they were missing from the jail about 275 miles (440 km) southwest of St. Louis.

The men, who were all acquaintances, were considered armed and dangerous, Barry County Sheriff Danny Boyd told local media. There was no indication that the men had any help from jail staff or other inmates, he said.

Blevins and Stephens were in jail on drug and weapons charges, and Crawford was jailed for theft charges, according to an online roster of inmates.

The case has been handed over to the U.S. Marshals Service. A representative of the agency was not immediately available for comment.

The escape comes about two months after an inmate in an Alabama jail escaped with the help of a female corrections officer, who died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound during a showdown with law enforcement.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; editing by Jonathan Oatis)