Inmate who escaped NC prison by making weapon from toothbrush still at large
EDENTON, N.C. – The escapes of two inmates — one a convicted killer, one a kidnapper — had authorities in Ohio and North Carolina scrambling to capture the fugitives, corrections officials in both states said.
Convicted murderer John Modie, 58, escaped from his cell at the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville, Ohio. He was missing when guards conducted the prisoner count at 11 p.m. Sunday, officials said.
On Monday night, authorities captured Modie at an abandoned gas station in Nelsonville, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Members of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Ohio State Highway Patrol’s special response teams arrested Modie without incident, authorities said. He is being held at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.
The escape is being investigated and the corrections department is conducting “a comprehensive review of all policies and procedures,” the department said in a statement.
Modie’s escape prompted nearby Hocking College to close its campus Monday and issue a warning to students instructing them to go only to the dining hall. Security would be present between the dining and residence halls, the school said.
Modie is serving 18 years to life for murder, robbery and escape.
According to WCMH-TV in Columbus, he was convicted for the 2003 death of Ucianna Ortiz, 26. He killed her at his home in Cleveland before dumping her body off Interstate 90 and was arrested days later in Texas driving a BMW stolen from Cuyahoga County, Ohio, the station reported.
Modie was incarcerated at the correctional facility’s Hocking Unit, which houses about 450 older inmates in Nelsonville — about 30 miles southeast of the main prison compound in Lancaster.
North Carolina escapee still on the run
Kelvin Singleton escaped from the Chowan County Detention Facility in Edenton, North Carolina, at about 4 p.m. Sunday by fashioning “a weapon-like tool from his toothbrush” and forcing a corrections officer to release him, Chowan County Sheriff Dwayne Goodwin said. The officer was unharmed.
Singleton was imprisoned on robbery and second-degree kidnapping convictions in January. He also faces assault charges in Charlotte, police said.
“Singleton was last sighted near the jail around the intersection of Gale and Oakum Streets. K9 units were deployed to search for him and continue combing the area, including woods and abandoned houses,” Goodwin said in a statement Sunday.
The 26-year-old inmate is 6 feet tall and has a medium build. He has a cross tattooed on his forehead, authorities said.
Anyone who sees a man matching Singleton’s description should exercise caution and contact police, sheriff’s officials said.