Photo: Getty Images
  /  01.20.2023

A manhunt is underway after five inmates escaped from a Missouri prison earlier this week. The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident happened around 7 p.m. Tuesday (Jan. 17) when the men “made their way through a secured door by use of force.” Authorities say among the group are three “known sex offenders.”

In an article published by Fox News yesterday (Jan. 19), the sheriff told the outlet that officials believe the prisoners crawled through plumbing before climbing onto the facility’s roof and making it to the ground. Surveillance screenshots showing their vehicle leaving was shared on various platforms. The sheriff’s department revealed the assailants used a stolen gray 2009 Scion TC with Missouri temporary tags from the parking lot of the Centene Corporation, a nearby healthcare business. After driving past the gates, the prisoners headed south and have not been seen since.

In a statement identifying the escapees, the sheriff’s department said, “All inmates were being held on felony charges. Three inmates, LuJuan Tucker, Aaron Sebastian and Kelly McSean, aka Larry Bemboom, are known sex offenders being held for crimes committed while confined in the Missouri Department of Corrections Sexual Offender Treatment Center.” The other two men are Dakota Pace and Michael Wilkins and “were being held on felony warrants.” Before fleeing, the group got rid of their prison-issued orange jumpsuits and were captured on video “wearing white thermal leggings, white boxer and/or basketball shorts and white T-shirts.” Authorities noted Tucker was wearing a black shirt.

Tucker was previously charged with raping a 12-year-old girl. McSean was charged in a sexual assault case involving a 39-year-old woman. All five men have been described as dangerous, and officials urged anyone who sees them or may know of their whereabouts to call 911 immediately. The United States Marshals Service has offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to their arrests.

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