Report: One escapee captured, second still on loose

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Authorities have captured an inmate who had been on the run for five days after he escaped last Friday. Another inmate who escaped at the same time is still at large.

The Mississippi Department of Corrections reported the capture of Jonathan Blankenship, 31, who along with Christopher Benson High, 28, escaped from a state correctional facility in Rankin County Friday.

The Clarion Ledger newspaper reported Blankenship was captured in Meridian, approximately 85 miles away from where he escaped.

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State law enforcement continue to search for High.

A business owner in the Pearl area found prison clothing discarded on his property and Jackson media report that another business nearby had been burglarized and clothes were stolen. It’s unclear how Blankenship made it to Meridian.

Blankenship is serving five years for aggravated assault on a police officer and conspiracy to commit a crime in Alcorn County.

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

The manner in which the men escaped is under investigation, MDOC officials said, adding that because of the active investigation and search, the agency will not discuss how the escape occurred.

The MDOC is searching with the help of local, county, federal, and other state law enforcement agencies. Rewards totaling up to $12,500 – $10,000 from the FBI and up to $2,500 from Mississippi Crime Stoppers – are being offered.

If you see High, call the MDOC at 662-745-6611, ext. 4200, Crime Stoppers at 601-355-TIPS (8477), the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) at 601-987-1530, or your nearest law enforcement agency.