Suspect Surrenders

After a search for more than 24 hours, 24-year-old armed robbery suspect Eric McDonald is back in custody at the Kemper Neshoba Regional Correctional Facility. Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m. McDonald escaped from the visiting area at the jail.

"We are questioning the lady who was in visitation with him. It's not known yet if she had anything to do it, but she is under investigation," said Chief Johnny Crockett, Deputy Warden.

Monday morning around 6:30 a.m. McDonald turned himself in to authorities at this aunt's house in the Tamola community. When in custody, he told authorities that at points during the search he was watching.

"While we were doing an interview with NewsCenter 11 last night he told us that he was in the bushes and watching us," said Sheriff Sam Tisdale, Kemper County.

Meanwhile, with state officials still investigating the case for now at least, the visiting area at the jail is closed to the media.

Although investigators say they still do not know how McDonald got civilian clothes and walked out the front door of the facility, Sheriff Sam Tisdale says it was probably the result of a shortage in staff. In fact on the weekend when visitation is held, he says because of a lack of funds, sometimes there are less than six people on duty.

"We've 36 inmates on the county side and they're allowed to have ten visitors each. So, that puts you right at 300 people and you don't have but one person to watch those people, one to watch the ones not in visitation, one running central, and one in the kitchen. It's just hard on them, but they do the best they can," Tisdale said.

With McDonald back in custody officials say for his escape he could face an additional five years in jail. Prior to his escape, he was being held on armed robbery charges stemming from the March hold up of the Texaco station in Scooba. Meanwhile, as for his alleged accomplice, if found guilty she could face ten years behind bars.

Investigators say they expect to wrap up their investigation later this week.


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