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Barry County Sheriff’s Office

(NEW YORK) – The US Marshals Service is looking for three men after they climbed through holes they made in the ceiling of their cells and escaped through the back door of the Barry County Jail in South- western Missouri early Friday morning.

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office said in Facebook posts that the men, two of whom had convictions for drug trafficking and the other for theft, escaped from jail overnight. They should be considered armed and dangerous, the sheriff’s office said.

Sheriff Danny Boyd told ABC News that his staff learned when they arrived at work on Friday that inmates had climbed through holes they made in the ceiling and left the building through a maintenance door.

The prison building is old with plaster ceilings, which Boyd says allowed the escape to take place. He said the inmates – Lance Stephens, Matthew Crawford and Christopher Blevins – were acquaintances. Two shared a cell while the other was in a cell a few meters away.

The sheriff said there was no evidence that an employee assisted in the escape, but noted that he was interviewing everyone working that morning to be sure. His staff extracted all surveillance footage from the time of the escape.

Boyd said the tips he received suggested that at least two of the detainees had left the state.

The US Marshals did not respond to requests for comment on their research.

The sheriff’s office asked the public for advice and information on the escapees on Monday, saying it would pass the information on to marshals.

The Barry County Jail incident is the latest in a string of prison breakouts that have occurred over the past few months.

Last week, a Houston-area family of five was reportedly murdered by escaped prisoner Gonzalo Lopez, who broke into their home.

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Lopez died in a shootout with police hours after authorities found the family’s bodies.

On April 29, Vicky White, Deputy Director of Lauderdale County Corrections in Florence, Alabama, helped murder suspect Casey White escape from his cell, and the two fled jail.

After an 11-day search, unrelated Vicky White and Casey White were arrested by law enforcement in Evansville, Indiana, after a car accident.

Vicky White died May 9 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

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