Area deputies help capture escapee
By Jane Beathard
Local deputies assisted in the capture of an escapee from the Fairfield County jail last week, according to Madison County Sheriff Jim Sabin.
Deputies Michael Talbert, Chris Stone and Jack Dill were dispatched to the Sunoco, state Route 38 and Interstate 71, at 6:38 p.m. to back up Fayette County deputies in apprehending Jeremiah C. Searles.
- Jeremiah Searles, the escaped inmate from the Fairfield County Jail, was taken back to Fairfield County Thursday afternoon, Feb. 23, by Fairfield County Sheriff’s deputies.
Sabin said he happened to be in the office of Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth when a call came that a car in which Searles was believed to be traveling was at the gas station and ready to leave the area.
By the time, Madison County deputies arrived, Fayette County authorities had blocked the car’s path and taken Searles; his girlfriend Jamie M. Sheets, 32; and a third associate, Jason T. Marteney, 33, in custody. Both Sheets and Marteney are from Lancaster.
Talbert took Marteney to the Fayette County Jail, while deputies from that jurisdiction transported Searles and Sheets.
Searles, 31, who is wanted in Missouri, scaled a 12-foot razor-wire fence on Feb. 20 to escape the Fairfield County jail annex, located south of Lancaster, where he was serving time for a string of misdemeanor convictions. His absence was not noted until the jail’s 11:30 p.m. head count, published reports said.
Sabin said it remains unclear how Searles hooked up with Sheets and Marteney and traveled to Fayette County. However, it appears Sheets and Marteney will face criminal charges as a result of their actions.
Fairfield County Sheriff Dave Phalen is currently reviewing office procedures to see how Searles, a convicted sex offender with an outstanding warrant from another state, ended up in his county’s minimum security jail annex instead of the maximum security facility in downtown Lancaster, published reports said.