Prison Escapee Caught in Southern Illinois - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Chester, IL

Prison Escapee Caught in Southern Illinois

Prison Escapee Caught in Southern Illinois
By: Arnold Wyrick

CHESTER, IL --An early morning patrol by a Chester police officer netted the department one of the most sought after fugitives ever to be caught. 34-year old Marten Moon and two others escaped from the maximum security prison in Fort Madison, Iowa Monday evening.

Moon's run from the law ended early Thursday morning as Officer Michael Harberberger spotted a car parked in an unusual place alongside Fern Valley Road.

"As Officer Harberberger was attempting to wake the suspect up, the gentleman started the engine and backed the car up, and swerved out of the way trying to escape. But he didn't know there was a ditch right there, and he backed the car down into the ditch," says Chief Donald McKinney.

Chief McKinney says Moon then jumped from the car and took off on foot, running through the woods surrounding the area.

What Moon didn't realize was that he was parked on property owned by the Menard Correction Center. And he had just run onto the prison's property.

"We called out the K-9 unit from Steeleville, IL. And within 20 minutes of arriving the dog locked in on a good scent trial and actually treed Moon in a tree. And officers removed him from the tree with a little help from the dog," Chief McKinney said.

When officers began questioning Moon about his reason's for stopping alongside Fern Valley road in the stolen car, Chief McKinney recalls Moon's statement.

"When I talked to him he had no idea he was on prison property. He said he had traveled as far as he could go and was extremely tired. And just pulled down a back road."

That little cat nap cost Moon his short taste freedom. And will land him back in an Iowa State prison. Instead of where he was intending to go in order to hide from capture.

"He had intentions of going to Louisiana and blending into the turmoil that is going on down there," Chief McKinney said.

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