One escaped inmate recaptured late Saturday; two others still on run two days after escaping

Published 6:52 am Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Mississippi Department of Corrections reports one of three inmates who escaped from two different prisons on Friday has been recaptured in the same county where he escaped.

Benny Ray Blansett, 59, was taken into custody without incident, MDOC officials reported, just before 11 p.m. at a checkpoint in Sunflower County.

He has been returned to the State Penitentiary at Parchman and will face an escape charge. He’s serving a life sentence for forgery, aggravated assault on a police officer, burglary, and escape from the Marion and Sunflower county jails.

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As authorities continue their search for two other state prison escapees. A reward of up to $12,500 is offered for information leading to the escapees’ capture.

The FBI has offered $10,000 reward money and Crime Stoppers has pitched in with an additional. $2,500.

Meanwhile, 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 inmates escaped.

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.

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.

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