Police hunt inmate

Published 6:44 am Monday, August 20, 2007

By By Lisa Tindell – news reporter
For more than eight hours Wednesday, law enforcement officials and tracking dogs attempted to capture an Atmore man who escaped from custody of the Escambia County Detention Center.
Just before 5 a.m. on Wednesday, Michael McGhee escaped from a minimum-security work release facility as he was being transferred to the jail, sheriff's department officials said. Local law enforcement began the search for McGhee at the time of the escape and continued until 1 p.m. when the search was suspended, Escambia County Sheriff Grover Smith said.
As the hunt progressed, officials requested assistance from the K-9 units of Fountain Correctional Facility and the Santa Rosa County Correction Facility from Century, Fla. A helicopter operated by George VanNevel with Century Helicopter Service also assisted in the search.
Smith said McGhee's girlfriend was arrested on traffic violations, but authorities also believe she was in contact with McGhee via cellphone during the search. That evidence will be presented to a grand jury in the near future, Smith said. Smith was unable to provide the woman's name at press time Friday.
The search for McGhee covered an area from the Escambia County Detention Center on St. Nicholas Avenue to an area northeast of Brewton near Alabama 41, Smith said.
The 33-year-old McGhee was being held at the Escambia County facility on charges of drug possession. Because of his actions on Wednesday, he now faces felony escape charges, Smith said.
Smith is asking for assistance from the public in locating McGhee or information that will help lead law enforcement officials to his location.
He is described as an Indian male, 33 years old, 5'9” and weighing about 160 pounds.
Anyone with information concerning McGhee or his whereabouts is asked to contact the Escambia County Sheriff's Department at 867-0304.

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