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Inmates escaped from Ohio prison in a dumpster


Two inmates who escaped from an Ohio prison this week did so by hiding in a dumpster, the state Department of Corrections said Friday, as the search for one of the men continued.

Bradley Gillespie, 50, who was convicted of two counts of murder and given two consecutive 15-to-life sentences in 2016, remained at large Friday and Kentucky officials were conducting a manhunt.

The other inmate, James Lee, 47, who escaped from Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution has been captured, officials have said.

Bradley Gillespie. Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP

The two men escaped from the prison in Lima, about 80 miles northwest of Columbus “after hiding in a dumpster,” the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in a statement Friday.

They were discovered missing during a prisoner count at 11 a.m. Tuesday, the department said.

Officials then determined the men were last seen on surveillance video inside the facility just after 8:40 a.m. Monday, it said.

Lee was captured by police in Henderson, Kentucky, on Wednesday after police chased a stolen car that officials believe also contained Gillespie.

The car crashed, they fled on foot and Lee was arrested, but Gillespie is believed to have eluded police, authorities have said.

The search continued in Henderson, a city of about 27,000 residents on the banks of the Ohio River across the Indiana border, police there said Friday.

“We’ve been driving around the clock,” Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney said Friday.

The search has involved forward-looking infrared, or FLIR, devices on helicopters, ground scanners and dogs, and five boats in the Ohio River checking islands and the shoreline, McKinney said.

Video of the two men in a Home Depot parking lot in Evansville, Indiana, about six hours before Wednesday’s pursuit also shows Gillespie with a pronounced limp, McKinney said.

“It is our belief that he was injured during his escape in Ohio,” he said.

Gillespie is 6 feet tall and weighs 200 pounds, and in the video he was seen wearing dark pants and a white shirt, but that was several days ago, police said.

Meanwhile in Ohio, four Department of Corrections employees have been placed on paid administrative leave as an investigation into the jailbreak continues, the department said.

They are a major and three detectives. There is an internal investigation by the Department of Corrections and a criminal investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Department of Corrections said.

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