A jail escapee from Lancaster area prison nabbed in traffic stop.
An inmate who scaled a razor wire fence this week at a Fairfield County jail annex was captured Wednesday night in Fayette County, authorities said.
Jeremiah Searles, 31, was found at a gas station off Interstate-71 and State Route 38. Searles is now charged with escape and obstructing official business. Those charges are in addition to several misdemeanor violations Searles faces in Fairfield County and a warrant from Missouri for deviate sexual assault.
Others charged include Angela Searles, 32; Jamie Sheets, 32; David Likens, 33; and Jason Marteney, 33. All are from Lancaster and according to Fairfield County Prosecuting Attorney Gregg Marx, all face obstruction charges connected to Searles escape.
Marx says, "I believe it is important to deter someone who might be considering committing a crime “to help a friend.” "Whenever someone tries to escape from jail or prison, we will pursue charges not only to punish the offenders, but also to deter others who might be considering to aid in the escape of a criminal. I commend the law enforcement efforts that occurred after the escape had been discovered."
How the convicted sex offender escaped remains under investigation, but it's believed Searles remained in the outdoor recreation area after other inmates were asked to come inside around 4 p.m. Monday, Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen said.
Jailers didn't notice Searles was missing until 11:30 p.m. He likely jumped the fence by putting socks on his hands.
The county began leasing the annex from the state in November to relieve crowding at the other two jails in Lancaster. The former Camp Reams boot camp at the Southeast Correctional Institution houses misdemeanor offenders, Phalen said.