OAN’s Shawntel Smith-Hill
4:58 PM – Wednesday, July 26, 2023
The Bent County Sheriff’s Office and police in southeastern Colorado are looking for one “dangerous” inmate on the run, who is apart of a gang of four inmates that escaped from a Colorado jail on Wednesday.
Authorities are asking the public to be on the lookout for 46-year-old Mark Fox, who reportedly escaped from the Bent County Jail along with three others. He has been described as a “bald, White male standing at 6-foot-3 and weighing around 210 pounds.” The sheriff’s office did not mention what landed Fox in jail in the first place.
However, representatives of the jail did mention that locals should be wary and that they should consider him to be extremely dangerous.
Jake Six, a sheriff from the Bent County Jail in Las Animas, Colorado, reported to the KOAA outlet that the four inmates escaped by breaking through a sheet rock ceiling in their cell. The cell was previously used as a kitchen before being repurposed.
The inmates then reportedly broke out of the facility via the restroom roof’s access, according to the sheriff, KOAA reported.
Before it came time to take a headcount of the inmates, the group had allegedly stuffed blankets into their bedding in an attempt to appear as if they were still sleeping in their cell.
“The Bent County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with Colorado State Patrol and the Otero County Sheriff’s Office are conducting a search… and notifications have been sent out to the Las Animas community and to surrounding law enforcement agencies,” stated the Bent County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday.
Two of the four escaped convicts have not been officially named, although some incoming reports indicate that they have already been apprehended and returned to jail.
34-year-old Benjamin Valdez was identified as the third escapee by law enforcement officials. He was recently found dead in Pueblo County. Authorities suspect his death was caused by a drug overdose.
The Bent County Office of Emergency Management is warning the public to, “Please keep your doors locked and vehicles locked,” as police continue the search for Fox.
“If you see anything suspicious or these individuals in your area, please do not make contact,” officials said on Tuesday.
The urgent push by authorities to find Fox comes amidst a number of prison and jail breaks in the past few months.
Notable criminals, such as 34-year-old Michael Burham, a skilled survivalist, was accused and tried for murder charges before later escaping a Pennsylvania prison this month, prompting an expansive manhunt. He was later captured.
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