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Inmates, including murderer, at large after Kansas prison break

The inmates who escaped a Kansas jail are considered armed and dangerous, Kansas law enforcement officials say.

Four prisoners, including a man convicted of double murder, escaped from a central Kansas jail before dawn on Wednesday, authorities said.

One was quickly apprehended, and another was caught at 5:30 p.m. The other two, including the convicted murderer, remain at large, the Kansas City Star reported.

The men, described as "armed and dangerous," escaped from the Ottawa County Jail, where they were being kept as prisoners of the Kansas Department of Corrections, said Jeremy Barclay, department spokesman.

The two men who remain at large are Santos M. Carrera-Morales, 22, who was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder, and Eric Jerome James, 22, who was convicted of kidnapping in commission of a crime, three charges of aggravated burglary and criminal damage to property, the Kansas City Star reported.

Drew Edward Wade, 21, convicted of aggravated battery and attempted robbery, was caught early Wednesday evening.


The inmates had been transferred to the jail because of overcrowding at the state prison, The Associated Press reported.

Kansas Department Of Corrections / AP

Eric James, 22, Santos Carrera-Morales, 22, and Drew Wade, 21, three of four people who broke out of the Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis, Kan. on Wednesday morning. Wade was caught; Carrera-Morales and James remain at large. A fourth inmate was captured soon after the escape.

Barclay said details of the escape were being investigated and that no staff were seriously hurt in the incident. The inmates overpowered guards with homemade knives after complaining about a broken water pipe in their cell.

North Ottawa County schools superintendent Larry Combs called off classes Wednesday out of an abundance of caution, according to The Associated Press. 

"We're a small town," Combs said. "The kids in the country would probably be fine, but if the escapees were on the streets and we have 300 kids who walk to school on a nice spring day, I felt it was in the best interest of the kids to keep them out of schools today so they're not a target.

"This was one of those decisions that's not on the books," he added. "We have crisis plans for almost all situations, but a jailbreak is not on that list."

The public should contact the Department of Corrections with any sightings or other information on the three men. They may be in a multiple-colored Nissan automobile, Barclay said.

Anyone with information on the escapees are asked to call authorities at 1-800-572-7463 or 785-472-5501.

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