After a separate prisoner tested positive for the coronavirus, nine female inmates from a South Dakota jail escaped. According to officials, the inmates walked out of the Pierre Community Work Center at 8:43 p.m. on Monday.
The South Dakota Department of Corrections said that three of them were captured while the others remain missing as of Tuesday night. Kelsey Flute, 30, Jordan Wakeman, 27, and Pamela Miller, 28, were taken into custody Tuesday on Crow Creek Reservation.
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A Corrections Department official said one prisoner had previously been captured. KOTA TV reported that police arrested 28-year-old Samantha Waters at a home after they got a tip she was in town.
According to KOTA TV, “initially, the state release said eight women escaped. The acknowledgement that there were originally nine escapees didn’t come until Gov. Kristi Noem’s COVID-19 news conference Tuesday morning; when a question was raised about contact these escapees might have had with another inmate who tested positive for the virus.”
Noem said that all the women who escaped were from the same unit, but “we don’t know if they were in close proximity to each other yet.”
According to Secretary of Health Kim Malsam-Rysdon, at least one of the captured inmates has been tested for COVID-19. Results are not known at this time.
The five remaining missing inmates have been identified as Philomene Boneshirt, 25; Sylvia Red Leaf, 25; Alice Richards, 32; Kayla Lamont, 28; and Carly Schoneman, 23.
The women now face felony escape charges that could result in a five-year prison sentence, as reported by Fox News.