FRANKLIN FURNACE, Ohio (WCMH) – A jailbreak at an Ohio correctional facility saw five prisoners escape, and the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office said one of them remains at large.
The sheriff’s office got a heads up Saturday from the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace that staff had witnessed several inmates escape by climbing the fence at the facility. Sheriff’s deputies and the Ohio State Patrol then began searching for the escapees.
Staff at the prison told the sheriff’s office that they saw a woman near the fence before the escape happened. There, investigators found Allie Angelo, 32, who matched the woman’s description. When asked if she witnessed anything to do with the escape, she told them no. The deputies detained her.
The sheriff’s office said it later found out that Angelo had come to the prison with Matthew Sladen, her ex-husband, to help her new fiancé, Jeffrey Randle Fields, escape.
Before the end of the day, authorities found two of the five escaped inmates. A deputy found Fields, 37, on Junior Furnace Road — about an hour’s walk from the correctional facility — and arrested him. OSHP troopers found another inmate, Clifford Tyler Morris, 33, on the same road and also took him into custody.
Sladen, 31, was found at a local Walmart and detained.
As of Saturday night, three inmates were still missing. The next morning, deputies went to Wheelersburg — about a three-hour walk from the STAR Community Justice Center — after getting a report of two suspicious people there.
When they got there, they found two men heading for the highway. The pair ran from the deputies, and Portsmouth police were called out to help, authorities said.
One of the escapees, Aaron Brigeman, 43, had been hiding in the woods and came out to walk on railroad property. The sheriff’s office said that’s where a deputy found him and detained him.
Brigeman gave up the location of the other inmate, the sheriff’s office said, telling the deputy to look near a mobile home. Authorities found the fourth inmate, Walker Pence, 22, hiding in the woods near the home.
The last inmate to escape — Thomas Charles Comberger, 46, of Wilmington — remains at large as of Monday.
Angelo and Sladen have been charged with crimes for allegedly aiding in the jailbreak.
All of the inmates who broke out were low level, non-violent drug offenders, according to the sheriff’s office. They will now all face new charges for the escape.