LIVE VIDEO: 5 p.m. press conference on captured jail escapees

Law enforcement is holding a press conference at 5 p.m. to talk about the three inmates who were captured Tuesday afternoon after escaping from the Butler County Justice Center Monday night.
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They were found in a scrap yard just east of Poplar Bluff.

According to the Butler County Sheriff's Office, Rodney Joe Green, Matthew Brandon Cook and Kade Reaves Stringfellow all escaped around 11:30 Monday night.

Green was being held on numerous assault charges, Cook and Stringfellow were being held for murder.

The search spanned from the Poplar Bluff area and into Little Rock, Ark.

Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs says that the families of previous victims were not believed to be in danger as the three are believed to be out of the area.

The three were being held in the same area of the jail and worked as a team to escape, according to the sheriff's department.

The inmates allegedly climbed into the ceiling and through the ductwork to get out. Dobbs says the walls do not extend past the ductwork in the ceiling.

Dobbs says it was a short distance from where the inmates were to where they came out from the ceiling. He believes it took the inmates about five to 10 minutes to escape.

Dobbs blames faulty building design for the inmates being able to escape. Dobbs also says no blame is being placed on guards at the center.

"Myself and the previous two sheriffs have fought the design and construction flaws in this jail. It's frustrating beyond words," Dobbs said.  "We have drywall ceilings in a jail. That's just unfathomable. The walls don't go completely up to the ceiling. It just baffles the mind when the jail was being built why there would be these shortcomings," he said.

Dobbs says he does not feel like anything was out of the ordinary Monday night.

"Like any jail there's a lot of noise, ambient noise, doors slamming, constant buzzers, inmates asking constant request," Dobbs said during a 3 p.m. press conference Tuesday.

Only two officers were on duty to supervise 94 inmates and to book other detainees arrested off the street Monday night. Six inmates total were in the pod the three inmates escaped from Monday.

The jail is built to hold about 125 inmates.

The Butler County Sheriff's Office, Poplar Bluff Police Department, Missouri State Highway Patrol and several other law enforcement groups searched for the inmates.

Quite a few people called in with information.

Police conducted neighborhood canvasses and checked abandoned houses in the area. They also urged folks to check on loved ones, especially in the east side of Poplar Bluff to make sure everything was secure.

Stay with Heartland News on air and online as we continue to follow this developing story.

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