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Prisoner Missing For Hours Before Anyone Notices

Last updated on Friday, August 31, 2007

(ELKHART) - It took guards from a Northern Indiana jail up to 10 hours to discover an inmate had escaped earlier this week.

30-year-old Wesley Anderson of Goshen, who was being held in the Elkhart County Jail on drug charges, allegedly escaped sometime Tuesday night but was not reported missing until Wednesday afternoon.

Elkhart County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Trevor Wendzonka says Anderson climbed into a ventilation duct and then broke through at least several inches of insulation, metal grates and roofing material before escaping.

The department is now working with U.S. Marshals and local law enforcement to find Anderson.

His escape marks the second time this summer inmates broke free from the jail. Six other prisoners escaped in July by climbing over a wall surrounding the exercise yard, and four of them remain missing.

Wendzonka calls the two separate incidents completely unrelated. But authorities acknowledge the building's age and small size probably played a role in the escapes.

A new jail is currently under construction. Authorities plan to transfer some of the inmates to the new facility later this year.

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