Kansas Prison Escapees And Ex-Guard Arrested

Wednesday, October 31st 2007, 10:06 am
By: News On 6

EL DORADO, Kan. (AP) _ Two escaped inmates and the former guard who is believed to have helped them flee have been caught in New Mexico, authorities said Wednesday.

The two inmates, Steven A. Ford and Jesse L. Bell, and former guard Amber Goff, were taken into custody early Wednesday, according to a news release from the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Ford and Bell escaped Sunday night from a recreation yard at the El Dorado Correctional Facility, about 30 miles east of Wichita.

Goff, 23, worked at the facility from September 2006 until this month. A vehicle traced to Goff that was found 15 miles away contained items linked to the escape, prison officials said.

Goff left her two sons, ages 7 and 5, with her sister before going on what she said was a dinner date Sunday night, family members said.

Goff's mother, Laurie Ann Nutter, said in a telephone interview Wednesday morning that she was relieved her daughter was found alive and apparently unharmed.

``I think I might sleep tonight,'' Nutter said. ``It is just unbelievable. I think I have been holding my breath for three days.''

Nutter on Tuesday begged the young woman to turn herself in. She said Goff often mentioned Ford and that she had even warned her gullible daughter not to let him sweet-talk her.

Ford, 26, is serving a sentence from Wyandotte County for robbery and indecent liberties. Bell, 33, is serving sentences from Finney, Leavenworth and Cowley counties for forgery, burglary, battery and escape.

The escape is the first from the El Dorado Correctional Facility's maximum security unit since it opened in 1991, said Bill Miskell, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections.