Another Inmate Flees Amid Hunt for Two Escaped Murderers
POLK CITY, Fla. (AP) _ Amid the chaos of helicopters, dogs and SWAT teams searching for two convicted killers who climbed a makeshift ladder out of a maximum-security prison, a third inmate slipped away.
″All the commotion created a diversion. It looks like he took advantage,″ Polk Correctional Institution Superintendent Gerald Abdul-Wasi said Saturday.
Carlos Ramos, who had been serving a 50-year sentence for attempted murder, armed robbery and other charges, was missing from a head count Friday night. Prison officials believe he stowed away in one of the many delivery trucks and vans that visit the compound.
″Our canine unit didn’t find anything to suggest he jumped the fence,″ Abdul-Wasi said. ″So unless he grew wings and flew out, a vendor van is the only way.″
A day earlier, convicted murderers Theodore Menut and Eugene Wonder had used a crudely built, 16-foot ladder to climb a fence topped with razor wire. They had been serving life sentences.
Wonder, a construction worker, had been trained in prison as a roofer and had access to lumber, hammer and nails, said assistant superintendent Don Merritt.
Ramos was probably ″long gone″ if he left by vehicle, Abdul-Wasi said, but Wonder and Menut were thought to still be in wooded swamps around the prison.
Menut was convicted of killing a nightclub bouncer in 1981 after Menut’s wife and sister-in-law were asked to leave because they were intoxicated. Wonder was convicted of shooting a service station attendant in 1985.