Five inmates facing felony charges have escaped a Missouri detention facility, authorities have reported.
Five inmates at the St. Francois County Detention Center in Farmington, Missouri, took advantage of a “quite a coincidence” on Tuesday. According to the Francois County Sheriff’s Department, at around 7 p.m. the four men, Larry Bemboom, 52, Dakota Pace, 26, Aaron Sebastian, 30, Lujuan Tucker, 37, and Michael Wilkins, 40, were able to get into a secure cell that evening, then “via a secured door using force.” Following crawling through plumbing and ventilation systems, they were believed to have climbed to the roof before descending to the ground.
“They went through a cell that should have been off limits, found a piece of metal in there to pry the door open with, and come up on the roof,” Sheriff Daniel Bullock explained.
Surveillance cameras captured images of the escapees. In place of their orange detention clothing, the suspects wore a variety of combinations of thermal leggings, boxer shorts, basketball shorts, and white or black t-shirts. The suspects are alleged to have stolen a gray 2009 Toyota Scion and then left the premises. It was discovered that the five had gone missing at approximately 10 p.m. during the evening head count, according to the New York Post.
The car, which has temporary Missouri license plates, was observed traveling in a southerly direction, according to the police report. There has been no report of sightings of either the vehicle or the suspects since then. “Car was sitting there with temporary plates on it, so we could not track it,” explained Bullock. “Full of gas, credit cards in the car. I mean, there were all these things. These guys were lucky.”
All of the alleged fugitives were facing felony charges at the time of the incident. A police report states that Bemboom, who now claims to be a woman and goes by the name Kelly McSean, is a “known sex offender,” as are Sebastian and Tucker.
Bemboom was convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in 2003 and is currently accused of sexual assaulting a 39-year-old woman and damaging property belonging to the state’s department of mental health. Sebastian pled guilty to statutory sodomy of a 7-year-old girl in 2012, and is currently facing charges of statutory sodomy of an 8-year-old girl and a 9-year-old girl. Tucker has also been charged with sodomy and assault and was convicted in 2003 of statutory rape of a 12-year-old girl. The three were “being held for crimes committed while confined in the Missouri Department of Corrections Sexual Offender Treatment Center,” according to the report.
Pace is facing a number of charges, including resisting arrest, stealing, and tampering with a motor vehicle. Wilkins has been charged with burglary and violating probation, indicating that he has a criminal history. As all five are considered “dangerous,” the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the United States Marshals Service have joined the search. U.S. Marshals have offered rewards for information leading to the capture of each suspect. Up to $20,000 is available in rewards.
Anyone who may have seen one or more of the suspects is advised not to approach them. Please contact the St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department at (573)756-3252 or Joint Communications at (573)431-3131 if you know the location of any of the escaped inmates. In the event that an escaped inmate is spotted, call 9-1-1 immediately and do not approach the fugitives.”
“We have a very secure facility,” Bullock stated. “This was human error, that’s what happened.”