Three Missouri inmates still on the run after making holes in ceiling, escaping jail

Barry County Sheriff’s Office

(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Marshals Service is looking for three men after they climbed through holes they made in the ceiling of their cells and escaped out the back door of the Barry County Jail in southwest Missouri early Friday morning.

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office said in Facebook posts that the men, two of whom were booked on drug charges and the other on a stealing charge, broke out of jail overnight. They should be considered armed and dangerous, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Danny Boyd told ABC News that his staff learned when they arrived for work Friday that the inmates had climbed through holes they’d made in the ceiling and left the building through a maintenance door.

The jail building is old with ceilings made of plaster, which Boyd said allowed the escape to take place. He said the inmates — Lance Stephens, Matthew Crawford and Christopher Blevins — were acquaintances. Two shared a cell while the other was in a cell several feet away.

The sheriff said there is no indication that an employee aided the escape but noted that he is interviewing everyone who was working that morning to be sure. His staff has pulled all surveillance video from the time of the escape.

Boyd said tips he’s received suggest at least two of the inmates have left the state.

The U.S. Marshals did not respond to requests for comment about their search.

The sheriff’s office asked the public for tips and information on the escapees Monday, saying it would pass the information along to the Marshals.

The Barry County Jail incident is the latest of a string of jail escapes that have occurred in the past several months.

Last week, a Houston area family of five was allegedly murdered by escaped prisoner Gonzalo Lopez, who broke into their home.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Lopez died in a shootout with police hours after authorities found the family’s bodies.

On April 29, Vicky White, the Lauderdale County assistant director of corrections in Florence, Alabama, helped murder suspect Casey White escape from his cell, and the two fled the jail.

After an 11-day search, Vicky White and Casey White, who aren’t related, were caught by law enforcement in Evansville, Indiana, after a car crash.

Vicky White died on May 9 from injuries stemming from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

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