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Authorities Looking for Escaped Inmates

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Authorities Looking for Escaped Inmates
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Jonathan Blankenship and Christopher Benson High escaped from prison
Mississippi Depart. of Corrections

Two inmates are still on the run after escaping from a Mississippi prison over the weekend. A third inmate was caught this past Saturday after escaping from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman. MPB's Jasmine Ellis reports.

Law enforcement officers say they believe 31-year-old Jonathan Blankenship and 28-year-old Christopher Benson High were possibly staying in a compound in Pearl. The inmates escaped from Central Mississippi Correctional Facility over the weekend. Bryan Bailey is Rankin County Sheriff. He says the authorities found clothing items nearby.

"We know they've been here," said Bailey. "We know they broke in a cabin about a mile from here. There were some items taken from that cabin that showed up here. Some stuff here that ended up coming from the prison. There's no doubt that they've been here. And initially we thought maybe they'd already got help and gotten out of the county. We're still acting like they're right out here in these woods and we're looking hard for them."

Pearl Police Chief Dean Scott says officials will continue searching the surrounding area although they are unsure where the inmates are located. He says residents should remain vigilant.

"Lock your cars, lock your houses, don't leave any type of valuables," said Scott. "We here in Mississippi... everybody has a weapon... take it inside. The last thing we want them doing is getting their hands on a weapon that could injure somebody... a citizen or one of the officers attempting to capture them."

Officials are asking residents to contact the authorities if they see something suspicious. Rewards are being offered up to $12,500.