by Steve Dunford

I know people are getting bits and pieces of the story on social media. I am still learning the ropes as a journalist.
One thing that I have learned in this situation is to keep things in ONE story and pass updates along. Our website has been down since Wednesday night. Social Media is all that I have at my disposal. Here is a timeline. The times are approximate.
I will share information that I hear from a house fire or an accident immediately so people can avoid the area. In this situation I was waiting for law enforcement to share.

Friday Night

6:30 PM. I knew something was going down at McDonalds. I did not know what it was at the time. I knew surveillance cameras were being checked around all the area businesses.

7:30 PM. The rumors began to circulate on social media what was going on. I was waiting to get the OK from law enforcement to share. I called WSIL-TV. They told me they had a reporter on the way.
In times of emergency, media sources put their information together. They told me they would contact me. I told them I would check their website for any information that needs to be passed along, and don’t worry about getting a hold of me.

9:00 P.M. Channel 3 broke the story. All the rumors that have been floating around, I confirmed.

9:30 P.M. I was told of the story the Crittenden County KY, paper ran, in which it was not discovered the inmates escaped until the van arrived at their jail. They were federal inmates being transported by a private company.

10:15 P.M. There was an attempted break-in in the Whittington Area, in which the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police was handling the case.

11:00 P.M. This is when mugshots were being shared of the escapees.

When I woke up this morning, I discovered that Charles Kelly was caught last night behind the Crittenden County Press office at 11:15 p.m.
When I contacted the West City Police Department this morning, they said there was nothing new on the investigation.
I have also been in contact with Crittenden County authorities, and they still are investigating.
One question that I have in this case is whether the inmates were being transported to a federal facility and they were being housed overnight, or whether Crittenden County houses federal inmates in an agreement similar to what Jefferson County has here at home.
I will post any new information and will update this timeline when I find out anything additional.

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