4 on leave after Ohio inmates escape through dumpster

  • Four people were placed on leave after a prison escape in Ohio
  • Two inmates escaped a correctional facility in Lima by hiding in a dumpster
  • One of the inmates has been captured. The other remains at large

Escaped inmates James Lee and Bradley Gillespie (Photo: Ohio State Highway Patrol)

(NewsNation) — Two inmates escaped an Ohio prison last week by hiding in a dumpster and now four prison employees have been placed on leave.

According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, James Lee, 47, and Bradley Gillespie, 50, managed to leave the Allen/Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima “after concealing themselves in a dumpster.”

A major along with three corrections officers have been placed on paid administrative leave as the internal investigation into the escape continues. Officials said similar action may be taken against other employees.

Authorities captured Lee early Wednesday in Henderson, Kentucky after pursuing a stolen car that ended up crashing followed by a foot chase. Gillespie evaded police and remains at large.

Gillespie’s daughter recorded a video message encouraging her father to turn himself over to investigators.

“Hey Dad, if you’re hearing this, I’d prefer you turn yourself in before something bad happens. I want you in my life. I want you at my wedding. I don’t want anything bad to happen,” Gillespie’s daughter said in a video posted to social media by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. “So, if you could please just turn yourself in before anybody gets hurt, I would appreciate it. We want you safe. We want you back. We want nothing bad to happen.”

Gillespie is a convicted murderer out of Paulding County. Before his capture, Lee had been serving time for breaking and entering, burglary and safecracking in Allen and Auglaize counties.

Lee was first discovered to be missing Tuesday morning after a prisoner count. An emergency count revealed that Gillespie was also on the run. Prior to the police pursuit in Kentucky, the men were last spotted on surveillance video inside the correctional facility just after 8:40 a.m. Monday.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is offering a reward of up to $21,000 for information leading the capture of Gillespie. Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call Findlay Patrol Post at 419-423-1414 or the U.S. Marshals Service at 1-866-4WANTED.

Law enforcement say Gillespie is considered dangerous. Anyone who encounters him is urged not to approach him and to call 911 immediately.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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