October 20, 2012
News release from the Department of Juvenile Justice:
"Four youth are back in custody as local law enforcement continues their search for a fifth missing escapee after the five juvenile offenders were discovered absent from roll-call at the Youth Development Campus in Augusta early Friday night.
The five did not get far before a juvenile corrections officer who was headed home at the end of shift spotted the missing youth on a road nearby the DJJ Campus and reported the escape. The Department of Juvenile Justice requested immediate assistance from local law enforcement agencies.
Soon after, Richmond County sheriff’s deputies responded to a stolen vehicle report and apprehended three of the youth following a brief car chase. Two other occupants ran into nearby woods. One of those youth later surrendered to a Department of Corrections canine team. No one was hurt in the round-up. None of the youth are from the Augusta area.
As night set in Friday, search teams called for a Georgia State Patrol helicopter for help combing a wooded area in Byron Place off Meadowbrook Drive where the stolen car was abandoned and the fifth juvenile was last seen. Searchers were looking for a teenager in shorts and a T-shirt and warning the public to call 911 and not to approach the youth who was believed to have driven the stolen getaway car.
As a standard security precaution, the Augusta detention facility was immediately placed on lockdown while investigators determine how the escape occurred. Investigators from the DJJ Office of Investigations have already been assigned on site to search the perimeter for security deficiencies, conduct a facility safety review and to look for any laxes in protocols or policy violations which may have contributed to the escape."
This comes just a day after a YDC inmate was sentenced for the beating death of a fellow inmate last November. Michael Everidge, now 18, will serve 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter on Friday.
The murder sparked a News 12 and DJJ investigation, which revealed cases of employee misconduct, sexual relationships and contraband.
Stay with News 12 as we continue to learn more details.