Two dangerous escapees from a Kansas jail could have been in Hastings Wednesday night, three hours after police issued an all-points bulletin in North Platte to be watchful for them. KHAS television received two unconfirmed reports that the men were seen in Hastings around 10 p.m.
North Platte Police also recieved a few calls, but "nothing substantial," Investigator John Deal said.
As of Thursday afternoon, North Platte Police didn't know where the escapees are. They ask residents to stay alert and notify 911 if they see the men or a gold Nissan Altima car they may have driven, or still be driving.
NPPD alerted the North Platte news media at 7 p.m. Wednesday that the men could be in the area.
The 911 dispatch center issued an automated telephone call to residents at 8:30 p.m. The robo-call went out to everyone with a land line telephone on the E-911 Code Red alert system, which was installed two years ago.
Police are looking for a gold 2002 Nissan Altima with Kansas license plate 649-CIC. If you see the car, call 911 immediately. Do not approach it, North Platte Police Officer Troy Erickson said.
However, the Altima had not been seen in the North Platte area, police said Thursday. Deal said there is no confirmation that the stolen Nissan Altima is directly related to the jailbreak, but it was reported stolen during same time frame.
“It is definitely a vehicle of interest,” he said.
Altogether, four men, one a convicted murderer, escaped a county jail near Topeka shortly before 5 a.m. Wednesday.
One man was soon caught. Another, Drew Wade, gave up in North Platte around 5 p.m., walking into the Wal-Mart store and asking a manager to call the police.
Wade had called his dad on the phone, who encouraged Wade to turn himself in, North Platte Police Sgt. Gary Hovey told an Associated Press reporter.
The other two escapees are still wanted -- Santos Carrera and Eric James, both 22-years-old. They are considered armed and dangerous.
Carrera was serving time for two counts of first degree murder.
James was serving time for burglary and kidnapping. Both were cited numerous times for breaking jail rules while in custory, the Associated Press said.
Wade was alone when he turned himself in at Wal-Mart, after traveling 240 miles in the stolen minivan.
Deal said Wade surrendered with no resistance, but his answers were selective and vague when police interrogated him.
“He didn’t say a whole lot,” Deal said.
Wade is now in the Lincoln County Jail. He was arraigned Thursday in Lincoln County Court for possession of stolen property and escape.
Prosecutors allege that while Wade may not have stolen the van, he knew or believed it was stolen and still drove it.
If Wade had stolen the van in Lincoln County, he would be charged with vehicular theft, but the Ottawa County jurisdiction must handle that charge, prosecutor Jennifer Wellan said.
Wellan said Wade will likely not be extradited back to Kansas until that charge is resolved or he posts 10 percent of a $25,000 bond.
“That’s our position at this point,” she said Thursday.
Either way, Wade will remain in custody until he is taken back to Ottawa County.
The escape occurred at 4:45 a.m. The four prisoners were armed with homemade knives. They overpowered guards after complaining about a broken water line in the holding cell area, Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman told The Salina Journal.
The guards suffered only minor injuries, the Journal said.
The four men were among 22 inmates in the jail. The four had been taken there in January from an overcrowded state penitentiary.
On Thursday, the other 18 Ottawa County prisoners were moved into into a state pen in Ellsworth, the Kansas Associated Press reported.
Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis, Kan., about 40 miles west of Manhattan.