Law enforcement officers appealing for 911 tip on escapee - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Law enforcement officers appealing for 911 tip on escapee

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Avery Javon Kirksey. Photo credit: Columbus Police. Avery Javon Kirksey. Photo credit: Columbus Police.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

News Leader 9 has new information on the search for an escaped inmate. The Georgia Department of Corrections Fugitive Squad is now taking the lead in the manhunt for Avery Jason Kirksey.

The 26-year-old Statesboro native disappeared from a work detail on Amber Drive on Friday around 1 p.m while in the custody of a Columbus police officer, according to Warden Dwight Hamrick. Meanwhile, residents in East Columbus are feeling a bit uneasy while the Muscogee County Prison inmate is still a free man.

Hamrick said early Monday afternoon, a team of officers was manning police scanners, hoping for a tip on where Kirksey is hiding.

"Hopefully, we'll get a track on the inmate and set up patrols that are mobile," stated Hamrick.

The goal Warden Hamrick explained is to pin down Kirksey where ever he is, curtail his movement and bring him back into custody.

"We do believe he is still in the Columbus area. We've been in touch with his family in Statesboro, which is a long way from here, and he has not had a plan the whole time."

The last known contact with Kirksey was just three hours after he escaped on Friday afternoon.

He kicked in the door to a home on Schatulga Road around 4 p.m.

He reportedly took off his prison clothes and put on the homeowner's khaki shorts, a black t-shirt, and a Miami Heat baseball cap. Now nearby neighbors are on edge.

Gloria Thomas, who lives in the area, said "I hope they catch him very soon...you know, this is not good; you don't know where he is and this close to my house-- I am very nervous about that."

If you see Kirksey, you're asked to call police. He was serving time on drug possession charges and a warrant had been issued for Kirksey on escape charges, which will extend his original release date of September 2021, according to Hamrick.

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