Two men from the Columbia Correctional Institution in Portage Prison escaped last Thursday allegedly aided by a prison kitchen worker, Holly Marie Zimdahl, 46. The two escapees were apprehended in Rockport, Illinois where they were discovered at a homeless shelter, Miss Karley’s. An employee of the shelter posted on Facebook that two men showed up “shivering, frozen, wearing prison issue sweats and thermal shirts.”

The two prison escapees, Thomas Deering, 46, and James Newman, 37, were taken into custody by Rockford Police Department. The Columbia County Sheriff’s office reveals that the two men began their escape from the prison at 4:25 a.m. by climbing over two fences at approximately 4:35 a.m. on Thursday. At the guards realization of the missing inmates, they promptly called 9-1-1 at 4:59 a.m.

The men went to a hotel after the escape and shortly after took a cab to Poynette, Sheriff Roger Brandner said. It is believed that shortly after that Deering and Newman were picked up at approximately 5:54 a.m. by a vehicle and left for northern Illinois.

Rockford Police Department and the Winnebago Illinois Sheriff’s Office were contacted as investigators had information that the suspects were in the northern Illinois area where they were later arrested.

Zimdahl was also arrested and charged with accessory to an escape crime. Newman and Deering have previous escape charges on their record.

Newman escaped from a supervised living facility in Jackson County in 2012 according to state records, and Deering escaped from Waupan Correctional Institution in 2002 by hiding in the back of a delivery truck. Both have several other convictions on their records outside of prison escape.

Read more about:

Leave a comment