PIKE COUNTY, MO. - (CBS affiliate KHQA) Five Pike County, Mo. inmates remain on the loose after an escape from the detention center in Bowling Green late Saturday night.
Three of the escapees are brothers Jacob and Jason Darnell along with Emanuel Chatman all three from Louisiana. Also missing from the jail is Joseph Verive of Elsberry, Mo. who authorities says may be on his way to see family in Arkansas. John Thomas Wilkerson Jr. of Florissant, Mo also remains at large.
"We received a phone call from a family member of an inmate stating they'd heard from other family members that he'd allegedly escaped. We immediately checked the cell block area," Sheriff Stephen Korte said.
That's when deputies found not one but five inmates missing from their cells.
Three of the five men who escaped the Pike County, Mo. jail were spotted later in the evening in Louisiana, Mo. Brothers Jacob and Jason Darnell along with Emanuel Chatman were spotted in what investigators say is a 1993 turquoise Chevy Suburban taken from Louisiana. Chatman is believed to possibly have contacts in the city of St. Louis who may hide them out.
Additionally, a 1999 Ford Ranger was reported stolen over night from Lake Shore Dr. in Bowling Green. The vehicle is described as a standard cab, short bed, orange-yellow in color with a single ladder rack mounted on the left side and a Mizzou sticker on the back glass.
The three men were part of a group of prisoners who managed to exploit a weakness in the jail's security by removing a tamper resistant stainless steel shower head and gained access to a service area. They walked out of the building sometime before 10:30 p.m.
Jacob Darnell, 22, of Louisiana, Mo. was charged with domestic assault and possession of a controlled substance.
Jason Darnell, 25, of Louisiana, Mo., was scheduled to appear in court Monday on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.
Emanuel Chatman, 27, of Louisiana, and Verive were charged with domestic assault.
Wilkerson was charged with theft of anhydrous ammonia, an ingredient used in the production of methamphetamine.
Korte said the escape came a day after the jail's weekly inspection of all cells and the day room. He says his deputies have questioned other inmates who they believe witnessed the escape. He says leads continue to come into his department.
Korte said that the showers, which were originally installed when the jail was built in 1994, are built to the same specifications as most jails of its size.
When asked if these inmates are considered dangerous, Korte responded, "only if cornered, I believe.They're going out to lay low, they're not going out to perpetrate other crimes, but if they are located, they may do what they need to do to stay free."
Anyone with information about these men should call 911 or the Pike County Sheriff's Office at 573-324-3202.