Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Think Escapees Fled Area by Car

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Police Think Escapees Fled Area by Car

Article excerpt

Police say it's likely that three inmates who kicked their way

out of the St. Johns County jail Saturday night were picked up

by a nearby car, making their escape successful.

The fugitives remained on the loose last night, giving jail

officials reason to believe they have slipped out of town. It

was unclear yesterday whether two of the escapees were driven

away, or if all three fugitives were picked up in a nearby

subdivision.

James Michael Hawley, a Jacksonville man serving 15 years for

rape, along with inmates Steven Allen Quarrells and Steve

Alexander Roberts kicked through a flimsy fire escape door

Saturday night. The inmates then scaled a 15-foot, barbed

wire-topped fence.

A search that included 60 officers, bloodhounds and helicopters

equipped with infrared tracking failed to turn up the escapees.

Now police say it's likely the inmates have left the area with

the help of outsiders.

"We believe at least two of them got a ride from someone and

aren't around here anymore," said Kevin Kelshaw, a spokesman for

the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office.

That theory was suggested when tracking dogs indicated the

inmates' trail abruptly ended in a subdivision near the jail. It

was bolstered by the discovery Sunday morning of two discarded

prison-issued uniforms near International Golf Parkway, which is

just off Interstate 95 and about 5 miles from the jail.

The massive manhunt in the first 12 hours following Saturday's

escape gave way yesterday to a troop of detectives checking out

the few leads that were trickling in to police, Kelshaw said.

The prisoners' descriptions have also been provided to police in

the state and across the nation.

Police said all the fugitives have "violent tendencies" and

should be considered dangerous. …

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