An accused killer is on the loose in the Ozarks. The Shannon County Sheriff’s Department says Jason McClurg escaped custody Friday night while watching fireworks with other county jail inmates.
The sheriff’s office says a deputy had taken McClurg and nine other inmates outside the jail to watch fireworks when McClurg broke free. He's described as standing 6'1", weighing 190 pounds with blonde hair, brown eyes and several tattoos.
Sheriff Steven Blunkall says McClurg is considered dangerous and believe he may be armed. “One of the inmates told me he wasn't running real fast,” says Blunkall. “But he went around the court house and the other inmates thought he went off the steps.” Blunkall says the deputy has been fired. This is the second inmate that has escaped from the Shannon County jail on his watch. “ I really didn't even want them out here”, says Blunkall. “He wasn't supposed to have them out here at that hour.”
Kenny and Judy Bland own Bland’s Dairy Shack right down the road from the jail. Judy says she was closing her business down around the same time McClurg escaped. “You know you don't feel safe when somebody escapes because no harm to you but they may be trying to take a vehicle trying to get away out of town,” says Bland.
Blunkall says the search efforts are challenging because of all the brush surrounding the area. They are seeking assistance from area agencies. “Highway patrol, myself and the local police department, they've been all around to help,” says Blunkall. “We had a tracking dog last night track him to a creek and it just stopped.” The creek was about an eighth of a mile away from the jail.
Blunkall says McClurg could be a dangerous individual. He asks that all area residents to be on the look out and take caution.
McClurg was arrested and charged in May with killing his wife in May. Investigators say he killed Stephanie McClurg, 32, at their home in Winona by mixing prescription medications with Kool-Aid mix and convincing her to drink it because their toddler child made it for her.