Nowata County Deputies Search For Escaped Inmate

Tuesday, May 7th 2019, 8:37 pm
By: News On 6

Nowata County Deputies along with law enforcement from all over the area are searching right now for an inmate who escaped from the Nowata County Jail.

Deputies, police officers, even the game warden in Nowata County are looking for Caleb Epple. Epple's family says they're ready for Caleb to turn himself in on behalf of the community but also for his kids.

House by the house, apartment by apartment, law enforcement officers in Nowata are searching for Caleb Epple.

"We may not find him there but we may get some information," said Nowata County Sheriff Mirta Hallett.

The Sheriff says Epple escaped the jail Monday night around 8pm, after a detention officer left the back security door unlocked.

"I will tell you that we are going to take responsibility for that escape," said Hallett.

Undersheriff Jason McClain says there is no excuse for Epple's escape but says staffing issues might have led to what happened.

"A lot of employees walked out with the former administration and left the office at minimal if not no staffing at all," said Nowata County Undersheriff Jason McClain.

Nowata County Sheriff, Deputies Resign Over Jail Concerns 

Right now the Sheriff's Office says they only have 1 deputy and 3 detention officers. Some of which are not fully trained.

Nowata County Jail Status To Be Determined After Carbon Monoxide Leak 

"We are having to hire people, more than one of course and train them all at the same time," said McClain.

On Tuesday the Sheriff says her focus is to be as transparent as possible with her community, get Epple back behind bars, learn from this and move forward.

Nowata County Interim Sheriff, Deputies Back On The Roads 

"I know most of the people here and I care a great deal and it bothers me that we once again have negative media on this," said Hallett.