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Escaped Ohio inmate convicted of double murder found dead: Marshals

James Lee and Bradley Gillespie in photos released by police. — Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

(CLEVELAND) — One of the two inmates who escaped from an Ohio prison has been found dead, authorities said.

Bradley Gillespie’s body was recovered in the Ohio River, the U.S. Marshals Services in Cleveland tweeted Sunday. The second inmate had been captured on Wednesday, authorities said.

The Allen County Sheriff’s Office warned residents on Tuesday to “be aware and use caution” after the two men escaped from the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima.

The inmates were identified by the sheriff’s office as Gillespie, 50, and James Lee, 47.

Lee was captured in Henderson, Kentucky, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Gillespie was convicted of murdering a man and woman in 2016 and was sentenced to 32 years to life in prison, according to Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction online records.

Lee was convicted in 2021 of charges including burglary, safecracking and breaking and entering and was serving at least 20 years in prison, state records show.

Lee was first discovered missing during a prisoner count at 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said. An emergency count of all prisoners determined that Gillespie was also missing, state police said.

The two men were last observed on surveillance video inside the facility at 8:41 a.m. on Monday, state police said.

The men were believed to be in a red Mercury Capri that was stolen in Auglaize County, Ohio, according to state police.

The vehicle was located by police officers in Henderson, Kentucky, Wednesday shortly after 3 a.m. local time. Police attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled before crashing into a fence, Henderson police said.

The inmates then fled on foot, Henderson police said. Lee was “immediately” taken into custody but Gillespie was not apprehended, police said. A shoe believed to have been worn by Gillespie was found two blocks from the location of the vehicle.

Henderson police asked residents to review any home surveillance they may have since Wednesday at 3:17 a.m.

Multiple county, state and federal agencies were involved in the manhunt. Police K-9s, water vessels, helicopters and drones have been used in the search, police said.

The U.S. Marshals Service, Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office were offering up to a $21,000 reward for information that led to Gillespie’s capture.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is also conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

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