2 inmates still at large after 4 escaped from Louisiana jail

A manhunt for two young men who broke out of a Louisiana jail is ongoing after two other escapees were found hiding in a dumpster behind a Dollar General store, authorities said.

The four inmates, all held in connection with violent crimes, escaped from the Tangipahoa Parish Jail north of New Orleans, according to a Facebook post from Sheriff Daniel Edwards. Two were taken into custody Monday morning.

The sheriff’s office identified the two inmates still at large as Omarion Hookfin, 19, and Jamarcus Cyprian, 20.

“We feel that they’re no longer in Tangipahoa Parish,” Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief of Operations Jimmy Travis said Monday. He added anyone who assisted the escapees in leaving the area would also face charges.

Authorities believe two inmates left the facility in southeastern Louisiana’s Amite City Saturday afternoon and the other two left Sunday afternoon, Travis said at a news conference.

From top left, Jamarcus Cyprian and Avery Guidry. From Bottom left, Omarion Hookfin and Travon Johnson - Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff
From top left, Jamarcus Cyprian and Avery Guidry. From Bottom left, Omarion Hookfin and Travon Johnson - Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff

The sheriff’s office did not learn the inmates had escaped until Sunday afternoon, when a “concerned citizen” contacted the warden and reported two of the escapees had come to a relative’s house looking for a “place to stay,”

Jail administrators then realized a total of four inmates were missing.

“The four inmates were able to escape the perimeter fence of the Parish Jail while participating in their recreation time on the yard,” the sheriff said.

A section of the fence was found in an inspection to be “vulnerable and easily maneuvered” as to allow “a small statured body” to slide through, the Facebook post said.

The two captured inmates, Avery Guidry, 19, and Travon Johnson, 21, were found hiding in the dumpster Monday morning, the sheriff’s office reported. They were unarmed when found, Travis said.

Hookfin, Guidry and Johnson were charged in connection to a 2022 home invasion that left a man dead and his 12-year-old daughter injured, CNN affiliate WDSU reported. They were awaiting trial.

Cyprian was “serving time for armed robbery and weapon charges,” the sheriff said.

It is “very concerning” authorities did not realize the inmates were missing until someone reached out, Travis said. “If the proper headcounts had been conducted, we would have known about it immediately.”

Travis said “lack of correctional supervision” as well as corroded wire in a perimeter fence made the escapes possible. “We’re short-staffed – it’s no excuse – but we’re short-staffed,” he added. “It’s a failure. We had a failure within.”

The Louisiana State Police told CNN in an email the agency is “in contact with Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and assisting where needed.”

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