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Florida authorities still searching for 3 escaped inmates

Posted at 8:11 AM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2019-01-14 16:19:40-05

Update: All three suspects have been captured.

CRAWFORDVILLE, Fla. -- After scouring a wooded area authorities in Florida are still searching for three county jail inmates who managed to escape.

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office says that they believe the three inmates who escaped are no longer in the area.

The sheriff’s office said that the three inmates managed to break through the ceiling of the jail’s law library and then make their way to freedom across the building’s roof. This happened around 12:09 a.m. on Friday at the Wakulla County Jail.

The escaped inmates, their descriptions, and charges they were being held on are as follows:

Joel Teraill Cooper – African-American male 5’08” 187 lbs. date of birth 12/7/1973 charges Burglary of Business.

Donald James Cotterman – Caucasian male 5’11” 156 lbs. date of birth 01/19/1973 charges Burglary, Criminal Mischief & Weapon Possession. Donald Cotterman is also a registered sexual offender.

Casey Martina Brandon – Caucasian male 6’02” 210 lbs. date of birth 07/05/1992 charges Burglary, Theft, Vehicle theft, and Criminal Mischief.

All three suspects were last seen wearing grey or white sweats and long johns.

"We have no indication that these three escaped inmates are armed," Wakulla County Sheriff's Office Sheriff Jared Miller posted on Facebook Friday morning. "They are escaped inmates so we do consider them dangerous and are asking the public to use caution and be alert."

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office has a large force of officers scouring the area to locate these escaped inmates.

The Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office has been in contact with Wakulla County Schools and recommended that school be canceled on Friday, November 17. There have been no orders issued by the Sheriff's Office for residents in the area to remain indoors. They do, however, ask that the public exercise caution and remain alert while they continue to look for the inmates.

If you see any of the individuals or know of any information concerning their whereabouts please use caution and contact the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office immediately at 850-926-0800 or 850-745-7100.

Mary Stringini is a reporter for ABC Action News. Follow her on Twitter @MaryWFTS.