One escaped prisoner has died and three others are on the run in the US state of Mississippi, police say.
Escapee Dylan Arrington, 22, is believed to have murdered a man and stolen his truck.
On Wednesday, police said Arrington’s body was found in a burned building in the city of Carthage.
The four suspects were found missing during a routine headcount at the Raymond Detention Center near Jackson on Sunday, according to authorities.
At least one of the suspects is believed to have fled to Texas.
Along with Arrington, the three criminals have been identified as 51-year-old Jerry Raynes, and Casey Grayson and Corey Harrison, both 22. Raynes has a long history of escaping from jail facilities, including the Raymond Detention Center in 2021, according to local authorities.
The men were in custody on a variety of charges, primarily related to thefts. Arrington had been serving time for on firearm and auto theft charges.
Residents of the area have been told to be on the look-out for the suspects as local, state and federal police conduct their manhunt.
In a Facebook post, authorities in nearby Leake County asked residents to be “extremely cautious”, keep their doors locked and avoid having keys or weapons in parked vehicles.
At a news conference earlier this week, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones said that after the four were found missing on Sunday, jail authorities discovered two “breaches” in the building, including one on the jail’s roof.
Authorities now believe that the suspects escaped to the jail’s roof on Saturday and left the facility at various times.
Jackson Police Chief James Davis had called Arrington the prime suspect in the death of local man Anthony Watts, 61.
Mr Watts was shot and killed around 19:00 local time on Monday after pulling over to help a man – now believed to be Arrington – who had crashed a motorcycle. He was found dead at the scene and his vehicle, a red truck, was taken.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones wrote that police had exchanged gunfire with a barricaded suspect believed to be Arrington in the town of Carthage.
The Sheriff’s Office in Leake County – where Carthage is located – later announced that a police investigator was shot in the leg during the incident. He was taken to hospital where he was stabilised.
Leake County Sheriff Randy Atkinson said officers saw smoke coming from inside the house, “and about a few minutes later the house was totally engulfed in flames”.
Following the roughly two-hour stand-off, an “unidentified deceased person” was found in the burned home.
Police said late on Wednesday that the body had been positively identified as Arrington, adding that his cause of death remains under investigation.
Another suspect, Jerry Raynes, is believed to have stolen a government public works vehicle, which was later found near Houston, Texas.
Police have released surveillance footage showing Raynes at a petrol station in Spring Valley, Texas, just outside of Houston.
In July, a federal judge seized control of the Raymond Detention Center, citing “severely deficient” conditions and a “stunning array” of assaults and deaths among detainees.
A public safety consultant was appointed as a “receiver” by the judge in October, with 120 days to devise a plan to improve conditions.
The judge’s order was stayed by an appeals court in December after local officials asked for the move to be reconsidered.
- United States