HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) -- Garland County officials said they are still searching for Escaped Inmate Derrick Estell, 34. They said dozens of citizens have called with tips. They said they are now working those leads.
Evidently there were several other individuals involved." said Deputy Scott Hinohosa with the Garland County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities said he escaped from the Garland County Detention Center at 1:40 Sunday afternoon in an elaborate plan.
Authorities took 58-year-old William Harding into custody Sunday for allegedly assisting in the escape. The getaway vehicle was recovered minutes after the escape. Officials with the Garland County Sheriff's office say they expect warrants to be issued for others. More arrests are expected.
Estell was taken to Garland County court on pending charges from the Arkansas Department of Correction. Estell was being held on 26 different charges including aggravated robbery, burglary, theft, breaking and entering, and fleeing.
Police say Estell and his accomplice should be considered armed, dangerous, and extremely aggressive.
Anyone coming in contact with them should use extreme caution and notify police immediately.
Here's how authorities explain how Estell escaped:
- Estell was on the inmate phone in the booking area next to a 12" by 30" wide service window.
- William Harding, who is currently in custody on first degree escape, started talking to deputies to divert their attention and have them go to the other side of the booking room to look up answers.
- Once deputies were away from the window, Estell jumped the counter and slid out the window. A deputy immediately followed him through the window.
- Estell fled through the parking lot, with a deputy following, into the alleyway between the DMV and a senior center.
- Tamara Upshaw (who now has a warrant out for her arrest for assisting in or furnishing an implement for escape) was waiting there in her car with the passenger door open.
- As she drove away, a deputy tried to bust out the passenger window, injuring his hands, to get to Estell.
- The vehicle was found abandoned a few minutes later on Greenwod Avenue by Hot Springs police.
Investigators have reason to believe that others are involved in the planned escape and are working to confirm the information received and issue arrest warrants.
At this time, those names are being withheld, but could include family members, friends and other inmates of the both the Garland County Detention Center and Arkansas Department of Corrections.
In March, Estell led police on an extensive manhunt. He allegedly stole a vehicle and wrecked it at the intersection of Columbia Hills Street and Central Avenue. Police say he then broke into a nearby home where SWAT was called in for negotiations and was eventually arrested.