NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An inmate serving time for the murder of a Cleveland woman escaped from an Ohio prison, provoking a manhunt Monday and the closure of a nearby college.
John Modie was reported missing during a Sunday night prisoner count at the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville, state prison officials said. Authorities said Monday that a thorough search of the prison confirmed that Modie had escaped.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in a release Monday that they were working with local law enforcement agencies and the State Highway Patrol to look for the 58-year-old inmate.
“All available resources are being utilized to apprehend John Modie,” the department said.
The sheriff of Pike County in southeast Ohio issued a bulletin Monday afternoon that said Modie could be in a gold-colored Jeep Grand Cherokee and in the company of two women. The bulletin said Modie should have cuts from razor wire, could be traveling south or to neighboring Ross County, and should be considered armed and dangerous.
Hocking College in Nelsonville, which is about 2 miles from the prison, closed all its campuses Monday as a result of the escape, according to its website. The school urged those on campus to remain indoors and report any suspicious activity to Hocking College police.
Modie was serving 18 years to life for convictions on murder, robbery and escape charges, according to the state’s release. Prison officials said they had no additional details on his convictions.
Modie was convicted of fatally beating a 26-year-old Cleveland woman and dumping her body behind an abandoned factory in 2002, The Columbus Dispatch reported.
Authorities also were asking for the public’s assistance in reporting anything suspicious to law enforcement. They said they suspect he may seek shelter considering storms that passed through overnight.
He was convicted in Cuyahoga County in northeast Ohio, but has some family ties in southeast Ohio, authorities said.