O'Hare Airport

Inmate Escapes Custody at O'Hare Airport During Transport: Authorities

Brown County Sheriff's Office

Police are searching for an inmate who escaped custody at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport Tuesday while being transported from California to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin authorities said Tyler James Martinez was being transported from the Los Angeles County Jail to the Brown County Jail in Green Bay when he escaped while waiting for a connecting flight from O'Hare Airport to Appleton, Wisconsin.

The Brown County Sheriff's office said it was notified around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday by REDI Transports that an officer was getting food for Martinez and when he "turned his attention away," Martinez ran.

The Chicago Police Department was called to the airport but Martinez could not be found. Surveillance video showed he had slipped at least one of his handcuffs and he was seen boarding a car rental shuttle bus, authorities said.

He remained at large as of Wednesday afternoon.

Martinez was wanted on nationwide warrants for possession of methamphetamine, possession of cocaine, bail jumping, criminal damage to property, possession of an electronic weapon and possession of prescription drugs and drug paraphernalia. He is also a suspect in the burglary of storage units and auto thefts, the sheriff's office said.

Police said Martinez was wearing a light grey sweatshirt, dark grey or black sweatpants and dark-colored tennis shoes with the laces removed. The 31-year-old was described as having brown hair and green eyes, standing 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing between 185 and 200 pounds.

"Martinez is alleged to have committed drug and property crimes and is not believed to armed," the Brown County Sheriff's Office said in a release. "He did not have any money or means of communication on his person when he escaped in Chicago, IL."

The sheriff's office said it has "immediately suspended the use of REDI Transports for nationwide extraditions and plans to conduct and investigation into what happened.

The same company was at the center of a high-profile escape in December 2020. A murder suspect was at-large for weeks after escaping from a transport van in Gary, Indiana.

Anyone with information on Martinez's whereabouts is asked to call Investigative Sgt. Marc Shield at (920) 448-4404.

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