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Florida escaped inmate probe: Police pinpoint suspects

Joseph Jenkins, left, and Charles Walker, right, are shown in booking photos from the Orange County Sheriff's Office in Florida.

October 22, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police say they're looking at several suspects involved in forged documents that led to false releases from a Florida prison.

So far, police have not arrested anyone who helped inmates Joseph Jenkins and Charles Walker escape. Jenkins and Walker were let out of a Panhandle prison on Sept. 27 and Oct. 8, respectively, due to fake paperwork that reduced their life sentences to 15 years, authorities said.

According to Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, Jenkins had tried to escape using bogus documents before.

Authorities say at least six inmates have used forged documents trying to gain release in the past. Police say Jenkins and Walker are not cooperating.

Baily announced a $10,000 award for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of anyone who helped Jenkins and Walker in anyway.

Jenkins and Walker were captured on Saturday at a Panama City motel. Investigators found an iPad and cellphone at the motel, and they were reviewing them for evidence. Police also want to know how the men got to the motel and who was coming from Atlanta to take them somewhere else.

Besides the forged documents, forensic examiners were looking at computers and printers seized from the prison. So far, there is no indication that any Department of Corrections workers helped the inmates with their escape, but investigators are still looking at any possibilities of an inside job, Bailey said.

The latest case has led the Corrections Department to change its policy for early prisoner releases. It also changed how orders are filed in court offices.

The forged paperwork that led to the release of Jenkins and Walker was filed in the Orange County Clerk of Courts office.

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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