OKLAHOMA CITY – Authorities searched Tuesday for two inmates, including a convicted killer, whom police allege abducted one person and committed two home invasions after escaping from a private prison.
Great Plains Correctional Center employees discovered that Charles McDaniels, 35, and Tony Ellison, 23, were missing after conducting a head count around 4 p.m. and a subsequent detailed photo count, according to a statement from the prison's operator, Cornell Cos.
"An immediate search of the entire facility and grounds revealed that McDaniels and Ellison were no longer in custody," the statement read.
Authorities believe the pair broke into a Hinton residence, abducted a female resident and drove her and her vehicle into Oklahoma City, where they broke into a northwest-side home, Oklahoma City police Sgt. Keith Vance said.
"They took the first victim into the house, left her there along with the second victim, but stole her [the latter victim] car," Vance said.
Vance declined to release the victims' names. He said the condition of the Oklahoma City resident, who was seen in television footage being carried out of the house on a stretcher, wasn't immediately known. The other victim returned to Hinton, Vance said.
The prison was placed on lockdown, Great Plains officials said.
McDaniels was serving life in prison with the possibility of parole out of Tulsa County, Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie said. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for the Nov. 2, 1988, killing of Eddie Elmore, who was fatally shot in his taxicab during a robbery in Tulsa.
McDaniels was 17 when he committed the crime, which only netted him and another teen $30, police records show. According to testimony, the other teenager told authorities McDaniels said he shot Elmore because he "wanted to see what it was like to kill somebody."
McDaniels is described as a black male, standing 6 feet tall and weighing about 160 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes, according to the Corrections Department Web page.
Ellison is serving 15 years for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and a consecutive five-year term for escape from a jail in 2005, records show.
Ellison is a white male, standing about 5-foot-11 and weighing 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes and has numerous tattoos on his arms and back. The name "Don" is written on his neck, Vance said.
The victim's vehicle is described as a white 2003 Pontiac Vibe, with Oklahoma license plate number FMM-997, Vance said.
"We don't have any information that they're armed but we don't have information that they're not," Vance said. "We are considering them dangerous because they committed two home invasions."