Four prisoners, including one charged with murder, have escaped a Georgia jail – with the sheriff warning ‘they could be anywhere’.
The men fled through a broken window in the ‘falling down’ prison which suffers with staffing problems at around 3.30am on Monday.
They climbed out of a second-floor day room and through a hole cut in the boundary fence where they were met by an unknown accomplice in a Blue Dodge Challenger who helped them flee, police said.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis identified the escapees as Joey Fournier, Marc Kerry Anderson, Johnifer Dernard Barnwell and Chavis Demaryo Stokes.
Fournier, 52, is a white male with gray hair and blue eyes who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds.
He was being held on a murder charge accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in February 2022, according to local news outlets.
Anderson, 24, is a black male with dreadlocks and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He is charged with aggravated assault.
Barnwell, 37, is a black male with braids and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds.
He was being held for the U.S. Marshals Service on drug charges.
Stokes, 29, is a black male with short black hair and is 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds. He was being held on charges of possession of a firearm and drug trafficking.
Staff at the Bibb County Detention Center did not notice the four men were missing for three hours until they found the break in the perimeter fence at 6am.
After watching CCTV footage, they discovered a blue Dodge Challenger had appeared outside the jail earlier in the night and someone seemed to be tampering with the fence.
The person then placed items inside the fence which investigators believe were used to help the men escape.
Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said they broke out from the ‘oldest part of the jail’ which was ‘falling down on us’ and suffered with ‘staffing’ problems.
Fewer than ten staff were on shift at the time of the escape and the sheriff said they need 30 to cover all 800 prisoners.
Staff at the jail are meant to do a prisoner count every shift, but Sheriff Davis said the escape happened ‘between counts’ when inmates ‘are supposed to be asleep’.
Speaking at a press conference, he added that the fugitives ‘could be anywhere’ and he was not sure if they had split up, or were travelling together.
He added: ‘Somebody that sees this tonight knows where these four people are, and somebody is probably laughing at the TV set saying, “They’ll never get us”.
‘We will catch them. They will come back to jail. It’s just a matter of time.’