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West City still puzzling over missing inmates

  • Alonzo Young is still at large but there is some question as to where he actually escaped.

    Alonzo Young is still at large but there is some question as to where he actually escaped.
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Posted on 10/11/2017, 8:54 AM

After a weekend that saw residents of Franklin County wondering if escaped inmates were at large in the area, at least one area law enforcement agency is still trying to piece the story together.

At about 4:45 p.m. Friday, Franklin County authorities were notified by a private inmate transportation company that three inmates has escaped their bus while in transit across southern Illinois.

The company advised the West City Police Department the inmates escaped its custody during a routine stop at the West City McDonald's.

The missing inmates were not discovered until the transport reached the Crittenden County Detention Center in Kentucky around 4:45 p.m.

Those missing were identified as Charles Kelly, Randall Napier and Alonzo Young.

Officers from WCPD, the Illinois State Police and ISP K-9 unit, and the Franklin County Sheriff's office spent much of the weekend searching several areas in the county as well as viewing surveillance video near the McDonald's.

On Monday afternoon, West City Police Chief Scott Choisser sent out an update on what continues to be a puzzling story. He said the bus stopped at McDonald's at around 1:25 p.m. The missing inmates were not discovered until the transport reached the Crittenden County Detention Center in Kentucky around 4:45 p.m.

"At this time we have still not established if prisoners escaped while in West City," he wrote. "We are still viewing surveillance videos in the area."

Initially, officials from the Nashville, Tennessee-based Prisoner Transport Services of America were sure that all three had escaped in West City. However, just before midnight, Franklin County officials were notified that one of the escapees was back in custody. Kelly was found around 11:15 p.m. in Marion, Ky., hiding behind a convenience store where he had inquired about motel availability.

"Two of the individuals have been accounted for and one is still missing," Choisser said Monday afternoon. There was no word, however, on where the second inmate was recovered or where he escaped.

The missing inmate is Young. A search of the South Dakota Department of Corrections records found that Young is serving consecutive 22-year and 30-year sentences for first-degree robbery and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

"We encourage the public to contact local police should they see or hear of a possible sighting of this individual (Young)," said Choisser, adding that citizens "should not approach the subject as he is considered dangerous."