Prisons on lockdown as hunt for three escapees, investigations into escapes continue

Published 7:53 pm Friday, July 5, 2019

As the search for three escaped inmates continues, inmates still in state custody have been placed on lockdown.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections announce Friday afternoon that all state prisons were on lockdown meaning no visitation is allowed and all other privileges are halted.

MDOC investigators are working to determine how three inmates escaped.

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Early Friday 31-year-old Jonathan Blankenship and 28-year-old Christopher Benson High, who escaped from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility in Rankin County. The third inmate was discovered missing earlier when prison personnel could not locate 57-year-old Benny Ray Blansett, who escaped from the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Blankenship was serving five years for conspiracy and aggravated assault on a police officer in Alcorn County. He has a heavily tattooed forehead and throat, and smaller cheek tattoos.

High was serving 12 years for burglary of an unoccupied dwelling in Carroll County.

Blansett was sentenced to life for forgery, aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, and escape from the Marion and Sunflower county jails.

The lockdown is in effect at all prisons that house state inmates, including private prisons, MDOC reported.