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Signs of the fugitives turned up hours later and 25 miles north, in Madison, where they ransacked a house, ditched their prison uniforms, and took food and likely clothes as well. Then they stole a pickup truck from a nearby industrial site sometime between 6 p. Tuesday and 6 a. Wednesday, Sills said. The Honda was found Wednesday, intentionally concealed in a wooded area near the burglarized house, Sills said.
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Authorities are asking the public to keep an eye out for the stolen white Ford F pickup truck with the Georgia tag BCX The FBI promised a "comprehensive update" on the investigation at a Thursday news conference with state and local law enforcement officials in Madison. Meanwhile, Sills appealed for the public to help locate the truck and the fugitives, and to call immediately if they spot them. He called them violent repeat offenders and extremely dangerous, having taken the guards' 9 mm pistols. Sills agreed with reporters that Dubose will have trouble hiding his prominent tattoos, which include crowns above his eyebrows, a star below his right ear and graffiti-style letters all across his neck.
Sills said Dubose also has "ghost" tattooed on his right forefinger and "face" on his right pinky finger — signs of membership in the Ghost Face Gangsters. Rowe, 43, has been serving life without parole since , and Dubose, 24, began a year sentence in Both were convicted of armed robbery and other violent crimes. They have been cellmates more than once in Georgia's prisons, had known each other for "quite a while" and may have planned the escape together, Department of Corrections Assistant Commissioner Ricky Myrick said.
The other 31 inmates have been questioned, and a camera on the bus recorded the corrections officers being shot, but corrections officials have not explained to the public how the pair managed to get through the normally locked door of the inmate compartment to attack the guards. The sheriff said he's watched the bus video on a cellphone, and couldn't immediately tell which inmate fired the fatal shots.
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Monica, 42, and Billue, 58, were both transfer sergeants at Baldwin State Prison. Donnie Russell Rowe, serving life without parole, and Ricky Dubose, who has prominent tattoos on his face and neck, took a white pickup truck from an industrial site sometime between 6 p.
Wednesday, potentially enabling them to get hours away before the theft was discovered, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said. Sills described the fugitives as violent repeat offenders and extremely dangerous, having taken the guards' 9 mm pistols. He urged anyone who sees them to call immediately.
They left 31 other inmates locked in the bus with the two dead guards, and took the driver's phone. By the time help arrived, they had vanished. Hours later, authorities converged on the small city of Madison, about 25 miles to the north, where they determined the fugitives had ransacked a house around a. Sills said they took some food and likely some clothes, since they left their prison uniforms behind.
Authorities put up roadblocks, only to discover Wednesday morning that the pickup had been stolen, from a site about 9 miles away from the burglary. Since they haven't found the Honda Civic yet, it's not clear whether the fugitives are still together. Both escaped inmates were serving long sentences for armed robbery and other crimes. The Department of Corrections website indicates Rowe has been serving life without parole since , and Dubose began a year sentence in The inmates have been cellmates more than once in Georgia's prisons, had known each other for "quite a while" and may have planned the escape together, Department of Corrections Assistant Commissioner Ricky Myrick said.
Baldwin State Prison officers Sgt.
Curtis Billue were driving 33 inmates between prisons when Rowe and Dubose overpowered them and then used the guards' guns to kill them around a. Tuesday, authorities have said. The other inmates have been questioned and a camera on the bus recorded the guards being shot, but corrections officials have not explained to the public how the pair managed to get through the inmate compartment's normally locked door.
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Sills said it's likely the pair has left the Madison area. Many law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies are hunting for them. According to the Oconee County Sheriff's Office on Facebook, the truck with the GA license plate number BCX , is a standard cab with a dent in the right rear quarter panel, and has tool boxes down both sides. The vehicle was taken from the Seven Islands Road area in Morgan County and was positvely linked to the suspects. There is currently no known direction of travel.
GEORGIA AP -- Two Georgia inmates described as "dangerous beyond description" and wanted in connection with the deaths of two corrections officers on a prison bus remained on the run early Wednesday as reward money for information leading to their arrests continued to grow. Authorities said Donnie Russell Rowe, serving life without parole, and Ricky Dubose, who has prominent tattoos on his face and neck, were spotted twice on Tuesday after they overpowered, disarmed and killed Sgt.
Curtis Billue as the officers drove 33 inmates between prisons.
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Their escape after carjacking a driver who happened to pull up behind the bus on a rural highway set off a massive manhunt involving local, state and federal officers, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said. Authorities said the two inmates got into a "grass green," four-door Honda Civic with the Georgia license plate number RBJ and drove west on state Highway 16 toward Eatonton, southeast of Atlanta.
They are armed with 9 mm pistols that were taken from these correctional officers.
They are dangerous beyond description. If anyone sees them or comes into contact, they need to call immediately," the sheriff said. The two got a head start by taking and tossing the Honda driver's cell phone and leaving the other 31 prisoners locked inside the bus, Sills said. Later Tuesday, the manhunt shifted about 25 miles 40 kilometers to the north to the city of Madison, where Sills said the two men burglarized a house and then two men fitting their descriptions were reportedly seen in a Family Dollar store less than a mile away. Authorities had no further signs of the inmates and had no reason to believe they had split up, Sills said.
The reward for information leading to the arrests of Rowe, 43, and Dubose, 24, continued to grow. Monica and Billue were both transfer sergeants at Baldwin State Prison. How the two inmates managed to reach and overpower the officers remains under investigation, Sills said. Protocol is to have two armed corrections officers on the bus, but the officers don't wear bullet-proof vests during transfers, Corrections Commissioner Greg Dozier said. We see our officers as our family," Dozier said.
Monica was 42 and leaves behind a wife, Dozier said. Billue was 58 and is survived by his father, five sisters, two brothers and two sons, said Jim Green, an attorney who's speaking for the Billue family. The guards were moving the inmates to a diagnostic prison in Jackson, where their next placement was to be determined, Dozier said, adding that inmates do not know their transfer dates ahead of time. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said federal resources are being committed to helping catch the fugitives.
The FBI and U. Marshals have joined the investigation, Sills said. The Department of Corrections said Rowe has been serving life without parole since , and Dubose began a year sentence in Several agencies from across the state have been searching for Ricky Dubose and Donnie Rowe, and now, they say they know the pair ransacked a home on Cox Road in Madison. The Putnam County Sheriff confirms Rowe and Dubose broke into a house, left their jumpsuits inside a closet, and made off with some food, clothes and jewelry. Luckily, no one was home when it happened. We spoke with the sister of the homeowner by phone.
She says her sister is very overwhelmed and emotional knowing two men accused of murdering the correctional officers were inside her home. Law enforcement officers say they found those jumpsuits in her bedroom closet and her back doors kicked in.
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That woman is staying with family tonight. The Sheriff says investigators are still trying to figure out how Dubose and Rowe escaped. How they got out of their handcuffs, how they got through the locked door? I don't know. That's not my concern. My concern is apprehending these people and prosecuting them for murder," Sheriff Howard Sills said in a news conference. Both should be considered armed and dangerous. If you have any information, call police immediately. According to the Oconee County Sheriff's Office, the inmates and their vehicle have still not been recovered.
Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says they could be heading anywhere. He transferred to Baldwin State Prison in February of Today, two families lost everything in a heinous and senseless act of violence perpetrated at the hands of cowards.
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Words do not adequately express our sorrow in losing Sergeant Christopher Monica and Sergeant Curtis Billue in the line of duty. The selflessness and courage of these two brave souls will not be forgotten, nor will their sacrifice and service. Sandra and I mourn alongside their families and communities, and we offer our deepest sympathies to their loved ones. Our heartbreak is matched only in our resolve to bring their murderers to justice. No effort will be spared in pursuit of the killers, and no state resources required in this endeavor will be spared.
Joining them are our federal partners from the U. Finally, I urge all those in the surrounding areas to be vigilant and cautious while the killers remain at large. They are extremely dangerous.