Convicted Felon Disguises Self as Cellmate to Escape Jail

Tuesday, October 19th 2010, 12:05 pm
By: News 9

By Gan Matthews, News 9

NORMAN, Oklahoma -- A manhunt is underway for a man who escaped from the Cleveland County jail Monday night by disguising himself as his cellmate.

Undersheriff Rhett Burnett said 39-year-old Rowdy Offield is a convicted felon from Missouri. He was serving a 30 year sentence in Missouri for an armed robbery and kidnapping he attempted at a check-cashing business in Belton, Missouri. Offield had been brought to Cleveland County for an armed robbery at a Norman Walmart and was awaiting a trail. 

Burnett said Offield apparently altered his appearance to resemble his cellmate.

"He shaved his head. He shaved his facial hair," Burnett said. "He created what we believe to be a temporary tattoo on his face with some kind of pencil or marker."

After threatening his cellmate to keep quiet, Offield successfully pretended to be the cellmate when it was time for his release.

"Basically when the time for release came, and the door was opened, and this inmate's name was spoken and was supposed to be released, Mr. Offield got up and walked out and said it's me," said Burnett.

Cleveland County detectives learned that several inmates in the detention center conspired with Offield to help him deceive jailers that he was the inmate whose bond had been posted.

"This is very serious and we are utilizing all of our resources to locate Offield," said Sheriff Joe Lester. "We are currently using the U.S. Marshal's Office, the District Attorney's Street Crimes Task Force and local law enforcement to assist us in this search. We have also began an in-house investigation to determine how to stop this from ever happening in the future."

Offield should be considered dangerous and was last seen walking north from the jail late Monday night.

He was last seen wearing black and white tennis shoes, black pants, black t-shirt and a white thermal shirt. It is believed he shaved all his hair and facial hair.

Anyone who may come in contact with Offield, or who may have information regarding his location is encouraged to call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at (405) 321-8600 and ask for a detective.