Authorities are searching for three men who escaped from a jail in Barry County, Missouri, last week. Lance Justin Stephens, 29, Matthew Allen Crawford, 29, and Christopher Allen Blevins, 37, broke out of the prison by cutting holes in the ceiling and then walking out through a maintenance door.
Stephens was jailed on charges of possession of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a weapon, while Blevins faces several charges, including unlawful possession of a firearm, unlawful use of a weapon, and resisting a lawful stop. Crawford was locked up on theft charges.
The U.S. Marshals Service has taken over the search for the three men, who are considered to be armed and dangerous. Officials believe the men may have crossed state lines into Kansas.
“The night that they escaped, there was a farm truck out on Y highway that ended up being stolen,” Sheriff Danny Boyd said. “It’s the same time period that they got out, and they recovered that truck yesterday over in Kansas.”
Investigators suggested the three men likely split up after reaching Kansas, with reports placing one of the men in Arkansas and another one in Springfield.
Officials are trying to determine how the three men managed to cut holes in the ceiling without alerting other guards. While there is no indication they had help from any employees at the prison, investigators are interviewing everybody who was working and reviewing surveillance camera footage from the escape.