Two accused killers escape from maximum security in Florida

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 25, 2011 12:30 PM
Two accused killers escape from maximum security in Florida

By Barbara Liston

ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) - Florida authorities are searching for two accused killers who appeared to have escaped from maximum security through a vent in their cell at a jail early on Monday.

The two men were cellmates at the Indian River County Jail and were being held on murder charges for separate incidents. They appeared to have escaped through a vent in the cell, a sheriff's spokesman told Reuters.

"It was a very elaborate scheme. We also know that it was very detailed in the way they departed the premises ...This is not something that happened overnight," Sheriff Deryl Loar said at a press conference.

Authorities consider both men to be dangerous. One of the escaped inmates, Rondell H. Reed, who turns 52 on Tuesday, has a history of shooting at police, according to a statement by the Indian River County Sheriff's Office.

The other escapee, Leviticus Uriah Taylor, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder within the past month and was due to be sentenced on November 10, Loar said.

The inmates were discovered missing during a routine head count early on Monday, officials said.

During a search of the jail compound, their red jumpsuits were found in a service area. Jail officials are trying to determine exactly where the inmates scaled the facility's 12-foot-high walls and fences, both of which are topped by razor wire, and whether they left on foot or in a vehicle, according to the sheriff's report.

(Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)