Investigation: How Neighbors Notified of Escapee

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News 12 at 6 o'clock, Dec. 18, 2007

EDGEFIELD CTY -- An Edgefield County inmate is still on the loose Tuesday Evening. Johnny Moore escaped from the Trenton Correctional Facility late Sunday Night. Some people who live nearby had no idea someone escaped.

News 12's Gene Petriello investigated and found out that police and investigators throughout the state are looking for 26 year old Johnny Moore. But the big question today is why weren't all the people who live near the prison alerted that a convict was on the run?

Angela Nault lives near the Trenton Correctional Facility in Edgefield County. In fact, we estimate she is about a quarter of a mile away. She found out Johnny Moore escaped the prison Tuesday Morning, when she turned on the TV.

News 12 asking, "So, you did not receive any phone calls from the facility, Department of Corrections, Sheriff's Office, nobody?"
Angela answering, "No."

And she wasn't the only one. News 12 talked to 3 other neighbors -- all of them saying they never got a phone call about the inmate escaping.

"It's kind of nerve racking because you live so close to a correctional institution," says Angela.

Here's a timeline of what happened Sunday Night:
-At 9:30PM, a head count in the prison was taken.
-Just before 10:00PM, the prison confirming a person was missing and the facility was put on lock-down.
-At 11:27PM, Johnny Moore is confirmed missing by the person.
-Just after, law enforcement was told to be on the lookout for Moore.
-At 1:00AM Monday Morning, the first alert went out to some media outlets.

"We make sure that law enforcement is alerted to this - that the investigation can immediately begin so that hopefully, the inmate is returned before we have to alarm the public," says SC DOC Communication Director Josh Gelinas.

The Department of Corrections says one of its goals is to keep people aware when there is a security breach. And the office released this statement.

"The warden's office at Trenton maintains a list of residents in close proximity to the correctional institution and contacts them in the case of an emergency. The agency regrets that some citizens who wished to be contacted were not."

"Could we do a better job? I think we could. We obviously did not reach everybody in that radius but we did everything we could to make sure they were alerted," says Gelinas.

The business across the street from the facility did know Moore was missing. We're told they found out around 7AM Monday Morning. The search continues for Moore. Right now, they are looking for him in the Greenville area. He has family there. The DOC has alerted people who live near the family about the search for Moore.

If you would like to be added to the SC DOC contact list if there is a future escape, please call (803) 89666-3006.

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