Widespread Search for Jail Escapee

Harrison County Sheriff's Deputies concentrate in and near Saucier looking for Johnny Fife. That's the same area where they found the patrol car Fife allegedly stole Monday afternoon. Two searches at homes in the woods off Highway 67 turned up nothing. "They checked it yesterday, nobody was home, doors was open. I came back by here this morning again, door's standin' wide open so we just checked it again to make sure the guy had not returned or come back," says Deputy Gene Dedeaux. Each patrol shift has spent hours looking for Fife. Deputy Lou Bissonnette says, "We feel like he's bedded up some place, ya know laid down some place primarily because of the fact that he's wearing a pair of flip flops, a pair of blue cut-off sweatpants and a white T-shirt and he's not familiar with the area."

Pearl River County Sheriff's officials say Fife had a handcuff key and a small caliber gun when he allegedly overpowered the two deputies who were taking him to the Stone County jail. Chief Deputy Aaron Russell says, "He used the key to free one of his hands then placed the pistol at one of the deputy's heads and forced him to pull the car over... after they pulled the car over, he made 'em throw their weapons outta the windows, then ended up handcuffing each of the deputies to a tree." Russell says Fife took off his jail uniform and ran away wearing only underclothes. Harrison County deputies spotted the patrol car late Monday in the woods just inside the county line.

After a cool night and with probably nothing to eat, deputies say Fife may be desperate enough to do anything. "Absolutely, anybody who would do what he did to police officers, tie them to a tree and then take their vehicle, he's very desperate, he's very dangerous and he's armed," says Bissonnette.