Big Horn County officials have lifted a lockdown that urged residents to lock their doors and stay inside after three inmates escaped the Big Horn County Detention Center on Friday night and are still unaccounted for.
Big Horn County Undersheriff Eric Winburn said Saturday afternoon that the lockdown was lifted, however residents are still being told to make sure all keys are out of cars and doors are locked. The three escaped prisoners are not armed, the sheriff's office said, but are considered dangerous.
Winburn said Saturday afternoon that law enforcement is still searching for the three men. He did not provide details on the incident.
Big Horn County officials requested assistance Friday night after inmates in the county jail attempted to escape.
No injuries have been reported.
The three fugitives are Andrew Leroy Parham, a white male, 25, who is 6-foot, 4 inches and weighs 185 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes; Anthony James Castro, a Native American male, 34, who is 5-foot, 8 inches and weighs 189 pounds with black hair and brown eyes; and Stephen Paddy Ryan Caplett, a Native American male, 34, who is six feet tall, weighs 198 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Residents are warned not to approach the inmates and report any suspicious activity immediately by calling the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office at 406-665-9780.
All other inmates were temporarily evacuated into school buses and are now back in their cells. Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said that the inmates also caused some property damage.
Linder said that the escaped inmates were last seen wearing grey and white striped uniforms.
The Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, the Billings Police Department, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs responded to the incident.
In 2018, voters rejected a $12.3 million renovation and expansion project to solve safety concerns within the Big Horn County Detention Center. The Billings Gazette previously reported that the jail was built to hold 35 inmates, but holds as many as 50 or 60 at times.
Linder said that a few businesses were told to close for the night after the inmates escaped. A few local casinos and gas stations that were still open at the time of the incident were also advised to shut down.
Deanna DeVore owns a coffee shop called Mojoes in Hardin and said she didn't know about the jailbreak until after she opened Saturday morning. She continued with business as usual and even saw her regular customers.
"My coffee drivers are die-hards," DeVore said as she served coffee to drive-thru customers Saturday morning.
DeVore, who grew up in Hardin and has owned her shop for 12 years, said that she always feels safe in town. Although she's never used it, a small panic button is on-hand to notify the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office if needed.
"Nothing really scares me," DeVore said. "We just get up and keep going."
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