The manhunt for an escaped Missouri inmate briefly recaptured by authorities some 300 miles away before he managed to flee in a stolen police cruiser continued into Thursday morning, with authorities speculating that the missing man may have hopped a train in his latest bid to evade police.
Travis Davis, who escaped from a jail in Pettis County, Mo. Saturday night, was arrested in an Oklahoma parking lot on Wednesday after he allegedly kidnapped a woman, who managed to slip away and alert authorities.
The alleged victim, who said she was taken at gunpoint in the city of Heavener, was not injured in the incident.
Despite being cuffed in the backseat of a police cruiser, the 30-year-old suspect managed to free himself and sneak through the cage to steal the vehicle, according to the LeFlore County Sheriff’s office.
“He somehow got the cuffs to the front of him and somehow managed to get through the window in the partition while my guys were interviewing the victim,” Heavener Police Chief Ty Armstrong told the Democrat. “He went through the window.”
Davis drove a few miles away before he crashed the vehicle into a tree off Old Highway 59 in Howe. Authorities suspect from there he fled on foot and then possibly hopped on a nearby train.
Officers were searching for Davis on foot, with dogs and have set up a 10-mile perimeter — but they’ve seen no sign of the escapee as of Thursday morning.
“It is possible that Davis escaped the area by trespassing on a freight train, however, people in the area should keep their doors locked and be watchful for strangers,” the Heavener Police Department said in a statement.
“Anyone driving in the area should not pick up any hitch hiker and should definitely report them to the Leflore County Sheriff’s Office.”
Davis had been in jail since February, when he was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill his girlfriend and her 8-month old baby. He also told responding officers that he had a gun and that he would kill them as well, KRCG reported.
Davis was arrested and charged with kidnapping, domestic assault, child endangerment, resisting arrest and violating his terms of parole following a standoff with law enforcement. He was being held on $100,000 when he managed to break out of jail around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
According to a probable cause statement, Davis climbed up into the ceiling of the cell where he was being held, made his way across the rafters and then fit himself through an access hole leading into a maintenance closet reserved for staff.
From there, he managed to find his way out of the jail unnoticed. Officers did not realize he’d been missing until the early hours of Monday morning. Authorities are still trying to understand how the escape went undetected.
“We’re hunting the fella,” Capt. Dave Keller of the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office told KRCG this week. “Hunting him vigorously. We’ll get him. It’s just a matter of time.”
Davis is described as a white male, who is 6 feet tall and weighs 150 pounds with brown har and blue eyes. He also has multiple tattoos, including an eye inside a triangle on the front of his neck.