Search Continues For Escaped Inmate In McClain County

Friday, July 18th 2014, 7:30 pm
By: News 9

The search continues in McClain County after a man escaped from a patrol car. Deputies issued an arrest warrant for Curtis Lee Johnson, 31, Friday afternoon.

Johnson and two other people, identified as Joseph Gingrich, 50, and Geraldine Claunch, 41, were arrested for burglarizing a warehouse near the 500 block of Burr Oak in Goldsby. All three were handcuffed and put away in the back of a patrol car, but somehow Johnson managed to run off into the woods.

“The tactical team officers, who were conducting the search in the wood area, found footprints and other signs that a person had been in that area,” said Det. Dana Guthrie with the McClain County Sheriff’s Office.

Det. Guthrie believed Johnson would have been caught by now, but Mother Nature didn’t work in their favor.

7/17/2014 Related Story: Search Underway For Inmate Who Escaped Deputy's Vehicle

“Last night it became very foggy and misty,” said Det. Guthrie. “We do not know if he got out of our perimeter.”

Meanwhile, nearby residents like Bruce Beeson said he doesn’t think Johnson will get very far.

“The river right here is about a mile down the road. That’s only thick brushes down there. There’s wild pigs in there,” said Beeson. “He better be careful, especially if he’s handcuffed.”

“He didn’t have acell phonee on him, so he’s either going to have to find somebody to call for him or somehow get out of the handcuffs and get a ride,” Det. Guthrie said.

7/17/2014 Related Story: Suspect Flees After Being Arrested For Burglary In McClain County

The detective said at first they thought Johnson might have been armed when he took off running, but they have since located that gun.

“Anyone who escapes from custody and has a criminal history, such as his, you got to consider him armed and dangerous,” Det. Guthrie said.

News 9 learned Johnson does have family in the area, but Guthrie said his family is fully cooperating with the search.

If you recognize Johnson, you’re asked call deputies at 405-527-4600.