Hancock County investigators say a tip led them to find escaped inmate Perry Thomas at a home near Keesler Air Force Base. (Photo source: WLOX)
Since Thomas' escape, at least eight people have been arrested for helping to hide the inmate. (Photo source: WLOX)
Perry Thomas (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -
A Hancock County inmate who escaped jail earlier this week was tracked down in Biloxi Wednesday afternoon. And Perry Thomas is taking several of his friends and family with him back to jail. They're accused of helping hide him from police.
Hancock County investigators say a tip led them to the home near Keesler Air Force Base. DeLores Kelley said she was in her home babysitting when she heard and saw police surround the home on Perry Drive, right next door.
"I opened the door a little bit, just cracked it, and I looked out and the police and everything was out at the door. He said 'go back in and shut your door, Ms., and we'll get back to you in just a few minutes,'" Kelley said.
So what did Kelley think when she learned an escaped inmate was hiding out in her neighborhood?
"A lot was going through my head, but I didn't know what was what. I didn't know they were looking for that person that they talked about on the news," she said.
Since Thomas' escape, at least eight people have been arrested for helping to hide the inmate. Hancock County Sheriff Ricky Adam said each arrest got them a little closer to finding Thomas. Wednesday is when investigators finally got the break they needed.
"They weren't sure what exactly the address was, so we pulled it up on Google Earth and did a tracking, and she followed it and showed us the correct house," Sheriff Adam said.
Now that Thomas is back behind bars, Sheriff Adam said he and his team will do what they need to make sure yard security is tighter, so this doesn't happen again.
"There's some things we're going to do on the facility itself. As far as our people and our affective plan, it's there. There's a couple of little areas that we're lacking on security, on the outside of the fence, and that'll be addressed."
Sheriff Adam said at this time, they don't expect to make any further arrests. Thomas was originally in jail on a sexual battery charge, but authorities say he will be facing additional charges for the escape.
After his arrest, Thomas was taken to the hospital to be treated for a dog bite and injuries he sustained from climbing over the prison fence.
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