2 Escaped Inmates Still at Large - NBC Chicago

2 Escaped Inmates Still at Large

Convicted killers, rapist escaped Indiana prison Sunday



    2 Escaped Inmates Still at Large
    Charles Smith, Lance Battreal, Mark Booher (L to R) escaped from prison over the weekend.

    Two men who stole out of the Indiana State Penn through a series of tunnels a la Shawshank Redemption are still at large this morning.

    There are reports that two of the inmates had done maintenance work inside the tunnel system as part of a supervised work crew.  The prison uses the tunnels to get utilities and supplies inside.

    One of three inmates who escaped was caught in a nearby southwestern Michigan town by a security guard for Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

    Grand Beach, Mich., Police Chief Dan Schroeder tells The Associated Press that two of the inmates were spotted in the town Monday morning, and one of them was taken into custody.  Schroeder said the inmate identified himself as 48-year-old Charles Smith of New Castle, who was convicted of murder.

    BROLL: Inmate Caught Near Mayor Daley's Michigan Home

    [CHI] BROLL: Inmate Caught Near Mayor Daley's Michigan Home
    One of three escaped inmates is captured near Mayor Daley's home in southwestern Michigan.
    (Published Tuesday, July 28, 2009)

    He said a Grand Beach police officer got a call before 7 a.m. Monday that a private security guard for Daley was holding a man at gunpoint down a private driveway from the mayor's house in the town, about eight miles from the prison.  The security guard spotted another prisoner, who escaped.  The man who got away was in his mid 40's, who was very dirty and wearing a white shirt, gray sweatpants with blue shorts over the sweatpants and carrying a plastic bag.

    The three prisoners escaped from the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City around 10 a.m. Sunday.  Prison officials said they used a series of tunnels beneath the prison to escape.

    The two who remain at large are a convicted murderer and rapist, and they are considered dangerous.

    The circumstances of their escape remain under investigation, but it appears they got past some bars in the tunnels and pipe chases under the prison grounds, according to a press release.

    The prison was on lockdown as officials searched the building after they went missing from their units. 

    Lance Battreal is a white male, 45, from Rockport. He was sentenced to 50 years for rape in 1998. 

    Mark Booher is a 46-year-old white male from New Castle. He was serving a sentence of 65 years for a murder and 20 years consecutively for a robbery. 

    Charles Smith, a 48-year-old white male, is from New Castle. He was sentenced to 95 years in prison for murder in 1999. He has a tattoo of a scorpion on his right hand and a cross with dots on his left hand.

    Battreal and Smith have both reportedly cut or shaved their hair recently. 

    Indiana State Police, the La Porte County Sheriff's Department, local law enforcement agencies and State Prison staff are all searching for the men, the press release said.

    Anyone with information about the two felons is asked to make contact with authorities.  Tips can be submitted by calling a toll-free, anonymous hotline -- 1-800-78CRIME -- or online at www.wetip.com.  If the information leads to the felons' capture, tipsters could receive up to $1,000.