Burglaries may be tied to escaped jail inmate

Joseph Knox
Joseph Knox

Authorities are investigating whether several incidents are connected to an escaped Logan County Jail inmate.

Joseph Lee Knox, 36, who had been assigned to work as a trustee, walked away from the garden area outside the secured section of the jail, according to a release. He was last seen around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Kitchen staff and inmates alerted corrections staff that he was missing.

Around 7 p.m.Tuesday, a woman reported a man matching the description of Knox knocked on her door in the 5000 block of Ohio 47 West and asked for gas. The woman also said the man was riding a red dirt bike.

At 8:48 p.m., the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 6000 block of North Ludlow Road in Urbana after a caller said they had returned home to find a man in the residence. The resident chased the suspect out of the house, and the suspect reportedly fired shots at the resident as he fled. A dirt bike was found near the scene.

A description of the suspect matches that of Knox, according to a release.

A few hours later, around 10 p.m., West Liberty police responded to a burglary complaint, and the homeowner reported that a gun safe was entered and a .22 caliber handgun and ammunition were taken. Officers said a helmet was located in a nearby cemetery.

Knox was serving time for contempt charges. He began serving his sentence on July 19 and his sentence was to be completed on Oct. 22, according to the release. Knox also had a warrant for contempt of court out of Madison County.

Deputies will be working with the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office to file an escape charge, according to the release.

Anyone with information concerning Knox is asking to contact the sheriff’s office at (937) 592-5731. A reward is available for any information that leads to the apprehension of Knox.