Nationwide search on for escaped Tri-County Jail inmate

The Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg was built in 2000. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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The Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg was built in 2000. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Director says jail will review policies in wake of recent escape.

A nationwide search has begun for an inmate who remains on the loose after escaping from the Tri-County Regional Jail in Mechanicsburg on Thursday evening.

The inmate who escaped is Staling Santos-Reyes, who was in jail on a $300,000 bond from a Madison County case.

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Santos-Reyes was on trash duty at the time he fled the jail. He was being escorted outside by jail staff when he fled on foot and scaled a fence to escape at about 5:40 p.m., according to a media release.

According to the jail’s online records, Santos-Reyes, 40, was in jail on felony charges of possession of criminal tools and drug possession. He was set to appear in court on Tuesday.

Santos-Reyes , 40, is a 5 feet, 6 inches tall and about 140 pounds. His last known address is 1291½ Sheridan Avenue, Bronx, New York.

It’s the first time an inmate has escaped from the jail since it opened in 2000, Director Scott Springhetti said. It houses inmates from Champaign, Union and Madison counties.

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“We’re going to review what took place,” he said. “We’re going to review what steps are supposed to happen, did or did not happen. We’re going to see if there’s something that needs to be fixed, changed, modified, made new.

“We’re going to pick every detail apart and see if there’s anything we need to fix.”

The Champaign County Sheriff’s Office advised county residents who live near the facility to remain indoors.

The alert from law enforcement was scary, said Mechanicsburg resident Valerie Flora. She plans to take safety measures in the future.

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“I live in this apartment by myself and it scares me living close to the jail anyways,” she said. “They did a pretty good search last night. I feel they did a pretty thorough search, so I honestly think that he’s moved on.”

Mechanicsburg resident Rob Erwin and other neighbors have been helping law enforcement search for the escaped inmate.

“My neighbors and I, we’re all pretty close,” Erwin said. “We did a sweep of the garages and houses on the street to look for him.”

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The police presence in the village since the escape has been excellent, he said.

“I feel we’re safer than most people would think but at the same time, until he’s caught, we’re all on high alert,” Erwin said.

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