Police say Gainesville, Mo. man who escaped prison from a work release is ‘armed and dangerous’

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 2:11 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:37 PM CDT
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SEDALIA, Mo. (KY3) - Police are still searching for a Gainesville, Missouri, man, who escaped prison on a work release job.

The Sedalia Police Department says Jason Laird, 44, escaped while working a department of corrections work release job at the Missouri State Fairgrounds Tuesday afternoon.

Police said Laird may have stolen a truck from a MoDOT maintenance shed at the fairgrounds. Police were called to the fairgrounds at 6 a.m. Thursday morning. The truck is described as a White 013 Chevrolet Silverado Duramax 2500, has a Missouri License Plate 110189M and chrome running boards.

John Russo, the Acting Chief Deputy Sheriff at the Ozark County Sheriff’s Office, said authorities all throughout the state are searching for Laird.

“He needs to be considered armed and dangerous,” said Russo. “If anyone should come in contact with him, we ask that they don’t approach, to call 911 and allow us to get officers in place in whatever jurisdiction he may be found to get him back into custody.”

Russo also said they have tips from three different states on Laird’s location.

Laird was serving seven years in the Tipton Correctional Center for burglary, stealing and many other charges.

“In our area, a lot of people typically leave vehicles unsecured. Until he’s in custody, we’d ask people in our area, make sure your vehicles and homes are locked, keep everything secure,” said Russo. “If you have any firearms, keep those secured. That way, you won’t become a victim of theft or stolen vehicle because he has been known to do that in the past.”

The Ozark County Sheriff’s Office previously asked for help in locating Laird in January 2020 after he was convicted of domestic assault and ordered by a judge to stay away from the victim. Laird then went to the victim’s house and escaped into the woods.

He was later arrested in February 2020.

Police say if you have any tips on Laird’s location to call 911. Laird was last seen wearing a white Y-shirt, gray pants and black boots.

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