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2 Missouri jail escapees arrested in Denver homeless shelter, Arvada Walmart

Three men escaped Jan. 16 from a jail in southeast Missouri, and two of them were arrested in the Denver metro area, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
Credit: Jeffco Sheriff's Office, Iron County Sheriff's Office
Dwight Abernathe, left, and Samuel Gillam

ARVADA, Colo. — Two inmates who escaped this month from a jail in southeast Missouri were arrested Sunday and Monday in the Denver metro area, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Dwight Abernathie, 36, and Samuel Gillam, 35, escaped Jan. 16 along with a third man, Tracy Brown, 57, from the Iron County Jail in Ironton, Missouri, according to the Iron County Sheriff's Office.

Abernathie was arrested Sunday afternoon after he attempted to steal about $150 worth of clothes and other items from a Walmart at 9400 Ralston Rd., according to the Arvada Police Department. He gave officers a false name, so they ran his fingerprints to discover his identity, police said.

He had been in custody in Missouri on suspicion of assault and sodomy, the Marshals Service said. Abernathie was in custody Monday in the Jefferson County jail and could face charges here of theft, forgery and criminal impersonation, Arvada Police said.

Gillam was arrested Monday in Denver. The Marshals Service and Denver Police officers located him at the Salvation Army homeless shelter at 1901 29th St., according to the release.

Gillam had been in custody in Missouri on suspicion of kidnapping, the Marshals Service said. He was being held in the Denver County jail.

The third man, Brown, was arrested Jan. 20 at a gas station in Carrizozo, N.M., the Marshals Service said. He was taken into custody with his girlfriend, Diana Thomas, after the two left the Denver metro area.

Brown and Thomas told investigators that the three escapees had driven to Colorado together and split up in Denver, according to the Marshals Service.

They had escaped the Iron County Jail by moving a block wall, according to a release. They had been considered armed and dangerous, and the Marshals Service was offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to their arrests.

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