Escaped inmates found in Illinois

Thomas Deering, James Newman.

ROCKFORD, Ill., —  Two inmates, who escaped from the state’s maximum-security prison in Portage Thursday morning, have been found in Illinois, according to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Police were searching for 46-year-old Thomas Deering and 37-year-old James Newman.

The pair was taken into custody at a Rockford, Illinois, nonprofit that helps people in need. An employee of Miss Carly’s posted about the incident on Facebook, saying two men showed up at the nonprofit’s doors “shivering, frozen, wearing prison issue sweats and thermal shirts.”

The men were taken into custody by the Rockford Police Department.

“I trembled as I offered the two men coffee to warm them up and stall their departure. I was so relieved when our officers showed up,” the post said.

Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Portage Police Department officers were dispatched to the Columbia Correctional Institution around 5 a.m. Thursday for reports of an inmate escape.

Inmate search

Authorities determined the inmates had gone to a local hotel and were picked up by Portage Cab and taken to Poynette, according to a release from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

According to online records, Deering has convictions for kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary, battery by a prisoner and escape. Newman has convictions for kidnapping, escape, theft and discharging a firearm.

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