Sheriff: Escaped inmates still on the run, stole a pickup

Donnie Russell Rowe Ricky Dubose

The manhunt for the two Georgia inmates accused of killing two correctional officers as they escaped a prison bus is expanding.

The two convicted armed robbers, Donnie R. Rowe and Ricky Dubose, had been on the run since about 6:45am Tuesday, when their escape prompted a nationwide manhunt that drew a reward of US$130,000.

Officers have recovered the Honda Civic the pair carjacked after Tuesday's killings.

In a news conference Thursday in Madison, Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills says that's the largest reward he's seen in 43 years of law enforcement. "These are seriously unsafe, vicious hoodlums that need to be apprehended". David LeValley, agent in charge of the FBI's Atlanta office, told reporters that "we are expanding, not shrinking, our effort to find these individuals".

In the early hours of Tuesday they, along with 31 other cuffed-and-shackled prisoners were loaded on a transport bus being driven by Correctional Officers Christopher Monica and Curtis Billue. One of them fatally shot both guards, and then they jumped out and carjacked a driver who pulled up behind the bus on a rural highway and fled in his auto, Sills said.

"I've worked in law enforcement in this state in some capacity for 44 years, and I can tell you today, there has never been a reward that large", Sills said.

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"They walked almost nine miles and actually walked in the creek bed", Sills said. "We are looking for them anywhere they might be on planet Earth". He also has "ghost" tattooed on his right forefinger and "face" on his right pinky finger, signs of membership in the Ghost Face Gangsters.

"Where they have gone from there I don't know", Sill said. They were later spotted near the town of Madison when they broke into a home sometime around 10:30 a.m. and stole clothes and food. The men hide the Honda in the woods near the burglarized house, then made their way to an industrial site where they stole the pickup, authorities said.

Dubose, 24, had been serving a 20-year sentence for armed robbery and assault.

Monica had worked for the facility for almost eight years after being hired in October of 2009.

Authorities said the inmates were being transported when they overpowered the two officers, one of whom was driving the transport bus. Both were convicted of armed robbery and other violent crimes, and they've been cellmates a few times in Georgia's prisons.

Dozier said that when he was alerted to their deaths, "The pain and anguish that was in the toes of my feet went up to my heart".

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