RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - Christopher High, 28, had a thousand-yard stare when he walked through the door leading from the Lauderdale County Jail into the sallyport, where he was loaded in a Mississippi Department of Corrections vehicle.
Jonathan Blankenship, 31, had led the way out -- cocky and confident -- tossing his hair, throwing a peace sign and winking at the camera.
They had led police on a six-day search, starting in Rankin County. Federal, state, and local authorities combed the woods and businesses in an area of Pearl where evidence of them had been found for five of those days. They searched trains leaving the area, since one place where the men had bedded down at least was right next to the tracks. They had also searched a train in Meridian.
Both escapees were captured Wednesday morning in Lauderdale County when a woman called police, saying she had talked to someone she believed to be one of the escapees. Blankenship was arrested shortly afterward between Rush Hospital and Metro Ambulance service. At first he tried to deny his identity, but after some questioning, he finally identified himself.
During that time was when police received information that High was with a homeless camp not far from Love’s Kitchen, where the two escapees were able to find food and take showers.
So far no details of the escape from CMCF have been released. The Mississippi Department of Corrections has not confirmed whether Blankenship and High had help either on the inside or the outside of the prison.
Those involved in the search include Mississippi Bureau of Investigation, Mississippi Highway Patrol, Mississippi Department of Corrections, Mississippi Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Rankin County Sheriff’s Office, and the U.S. Marshal Service.
Authorities are urging the public to report any sightings or information to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation at 601-987-1530, MDOC at 601-745-6611, or Crimestoppers at 601-355- TIPS(8477).
We are working to gather more details on this developing story.