Search for escaped Allen-Oakwood inmate continues in Kentucky

HENDERSON, Ky. — Efforts continue in Kentucky to locate an inmate who was reported Tuesday to have escaped the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima.

Bradley Gillespie, 50, is still at large after escaping from the prison with James Lee, 47. Both escapees made their way to Kentucky in a stolen vehicle before being spotted at 3:16 a.m. Wednesday by police in Henderson, a community located along the Ohio River in western Kentucky about 226 miles southwest of Cincinnati.

Officers in Henerson attempted to pull the vehicle over for a traffic stop, Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney said in a news conference Wednesday evening.

“The vehicle immediately fled from officers,” he said. “A short vehicle pursuit occurred, which led to the suspects wrecking on Camero Drive by striking a privacy fence.”

Both Lee, who was driving the stolen vehicle, and Gillespie then attempted to flee on foot. According to McKinney, Lee was immediately captured, while Gillespie was able to elude police.

“We were able to locate a shoe we believe Gillespie left after leaving the scene,” McKinney said at the press conference.

After receiving treatment at a hospital in Henderson, Lee was taken to the Henderson County Jail, according to McKinney.

Multiple agencies have joined together in the search for Gillespie, including the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, the Kentucky State Police, the Indiana Department of Conservation water patrol, the U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. Coast Guard, among others. The Ohio State Highway Patrol has also dedicated numerous resources in the search in Kentucky, including members of its aviation unit, its Special Response Team and its Office of Investigative Services.

“We’ve used police K-9s, we’ve used water vessels, helicopters and even drones,” McKinney said Wednesday.

McKinney said that efforts would continue into the night. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, Henderson Police has confirmed that there have not been any new developments in locating Gillespie.

Gillespie was sentenced in November 2016 to two 15-year-to-life sentences for the murders of Frank Tracy Jr. and Hannah Fischer in Paulding County.

The escape was discovered during a prisoner count at 11 a.m. Tuesday, according to a Tuesday release by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Both of the inmates had not been seen on surveillance video inside the prison since 8:41 a.m. Monday. An internal investigation into what led to the escape is ongoing, according to the ORDC.

A $21,000 reward is still available for any information leading to the capture of Gillespie. Anyone with information is asked to call the Highway Patrol Findlay post at 419-423-1414 or the U.S. Marshal Service at 1-866-4WANTED (492-6833).

Anyone encountering Gillespie is advised to not approach him, as he is considered armed and dangerous, and to call 9-1-1.