Murderer at Large After Breaking Out of Kansas Jail

PHOTO: Santos Carrera-Morales, left and Eric James, two of four people who broke out of the Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis, Kan. April 18, 2012.
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A dragnet for two escaped convicts, a murderer and a kidnapper, escalated today in Kansas and nearby areas as authorities that they are considered armed and dangerous.

The manhunt is looking for Santos Carrera-Morales and Eric James, both 22.

Carrera-Morales was convicted of two counts of first degree murder in 2008. James was convicted on three counts of aggravated burglary and one count of kidnapping, according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.

Authorities are cautioning the public not to approach the two men, who are considered armed and dangerous.

Early Wednesday morning, four inmates in a holding celll at Ottawa County Jail in Minneapolis, Kan., complained to guards about a broken water line. The men were then able to overpower the guards using homemade knives, Ottawa County Sheriff Keith Coleman told The Salina Journal. The guards suffered minor injuries, he said.

One inmate was quickly apprehended. The second inmate, Drew Wade, turned himself in to authorities 240 miles away in North Platte, Neb., authorities said.

"Whatever crimes they've committed are important to note, but in reality when they're trying to break free, there's no telling what could occur," Ben Gardner, Kansas Highway Patrol spokesperson, told the Associated Press.

The inmates all had medium-security status and were being housed in the jail, which is located 120 miles west of Topeka, due to prison overcrowding.

Kansas prison officials today removed all inmates housed at the Ottawa County Jail while authorities reassess security, said Jeremy Barclay, spokesperson for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

The 18 inmates, who were sent to the jail due to prison overcrowding, are being held at a state prison in Ellsworth.

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