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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

1 inmate remains missing after prison escape in western Ohio

TOLEDO, Ohio — A convicted murderer who escaped from a prison in western Ohio remains on the loose, but a second escapee has been caught.

The U.S. Marshals Service says James Lee, 47, was caught Wednesday morning in Henderson County, Kentucky. Multiple law-enforcement agencies in Henderson County are actively searching for Bradley Gillespie, 50, including using drones, helicopters, and police dogs.

The Henderson Police Department says in a news release that Lee and Gillespie were spotted early Wednesday morning in Henderson County driving a 1991 red Mercury Capri stolen from Auglaize County in Ohio. Police tried to stop the vehicle on U.S. 41 but it sped off.

The stolen vehicle crashed into a privacy fence after a short chase, police say. Both Lee and Gillespie ran from the car and Lee, the driver, was quickly caught. Gillespie was able to escape, but police say they found one of his shoes two streets from where the crash occurred.

“At this time, we believe Bradley Gillespie should be considered a danger to the public and assume he is armed with a weapon,” police said in a news release. “We urge the community to be vigilant. Lock your residence and your vehicles. Turn on exterior lights.”

Gillespie is about 6 feet tall, bald, with blue eyes and weighs about 200 pounds. He was last seen wearing a dark colored shirt and pants. Authorities say anyone with knowledge of Gillespie’s whereabouts should call 911 immediately.

In Ohio, investigators are still trying to determine how the two men managed to get out of the Allen/Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, the patrol says.

According to the State Highway Patrol, Lee had been held in the prison since March 2021 after being convicted of burglary, breaking and entering and safe cracking. Gillespie had been in the prison since November 2016 on a murder conviction.

The U.S. Marshals Service says Gillespie should be considered dangerous and that people should not try to make contact with him. A reward of up to $21,000 is being offered by the U.S. Marshals and the Highway Patrol for information leading to his capture.

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