Oktibbeha County deputies continue search for escaped inmate

OKTIBBEHA COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – The Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department continued to search for an inmate after he escaped the jail by climbing onto the roof and over the fence.

47-year-old William Strohm was last seen Sunday night around 8:30 before the department realized the trustee was missing.

Sheriff Steve Gladney said Strohm began running on Jackson Street and Martin Luther King Drive and has not been caught at this time.

“I think it is kind of crazy. It’s not usual around here. I always say that I call this place like a little Hallmark movie and that is not very ‘Hallmarky,'” said Zaheim Bender, an MSU student.

According to Sheriff Steve Gladney, 47-year-old Willliam Strohm was a trustee at the jail and up until that point, was never seen as a flight risk.

“He was sentenced here in 2001 on a burglary charge. He didn’t report like he was supposed to so the judge revoked him and gave him a year in the county jail and he had been here for about five months and never caused any type of problem,” said Gladney.

Gladney said the inmate was gone for about 20 minutes before they realized Strohm had escaped through the exercise yard.

“He was able to get up on an air conditioner. Climb up on the roof of the old jail and then he was able to climb the fence and leave on foot,” said Gladney.

For some, the news of a missing inmate was shocking.

“I thought it was crazy because the same thing happened in Columbus two weeks ago and I was like ‘Dang someone else escaped,'” said Audrey Foreman, a Columbus community member.

For others, the level of concern was low.

” I wasn’t super worried. I think this has happened before and I just know they will get the guy,” said Evelyn Smith, a community member.

The sheriff advised all community members to stay aware and lock their cars in case the inmate has any plans to steal a ride.

The trustee was last seen wearing light-colored pants, a white t-shirt, and a dark-colored coat with an orange interior.

If you have any information on his whereabouts, call the Oktibbeha County Sheriff’s Department at (662)323-2421 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at (800)530-7151.

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