Law enforcement officers are looking for a pair of prison inmates who escaped Columbia Correctional Institution in Wisconsin on Thursday.
James Robert Newman, 37, and Thomas E. Deering, 46, are both on the run, according to the Portage, Wisconsin, police and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
Newman was serving time for kidnapping and firearms charges, and Deering was imprisoned for burglary, kidnapping and sex assault charges, according to Wisconsin jail records.
Portage police said the two are believed to be headed toward the Madison area, south of the prison, and not believed to be in Portage.
The Sheriff’s Office advised local residents to lock their doors and stay home. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections said the two are considered dangerous.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Wisconsin has been under a statewide safer-at-home order, except for certain activities deemed essential, since March 25.
Four staff members and two inmates at Columbia Correctional Institution have tested positive for Covid-19, the illness caused by coronavirus, according to the state Department of Corrections.