Two inmates escaped Thursday from a Wisconsin prison where staffers have been infected with the coronavirus, police and correctional officials said.
Thomas E. Deering, 46, and James R. Newman, 36, escaped from the Columbia County Correctional Institution in Portage and investigators believe they could be headed toward Madison, Portage police said.
The inmates are not suspected to still be in Portage, where police advised residents earlier Thursday to stay inside and lock their doors until further notice.
“[All] officers and detectives are being provided the latest information on the suspects,” Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain told WMTV. “Like other area law enforcement, we are on alert.”
Detectives are also searching for the pair in nearby Poynette, police told WMTV.
Newman was convicted of kidnapping, escape and theft in 2016, according to court records cited by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Deering, meanwhile, had been serving time at the prison with maximum- and minimum-security units after being convicted of kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault in 2001, the newspaper reports.