Nine women escaped from a South Dakota jail where a fellow inmate tested positive for coronavirus, authorities said.
The inmates broke out of the minimum-security Pierre Community Work Center late Monday by walking out an exterior door, the South Dakota Department of Corrections said Tuesday.
Three of the women — identified as Kelsey Flute, 30, Jordan Wakeman, 27, and Pamela Miller, 28 — were apprehended Tuesday after a search that included aircraft operated by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, corrections officials said.
The women left the jail on the same day the South Dakota Department of Health announced a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the Pierre Women’s Prison, the Argus Leader reports.
Gov. Kristi Noem said the nine women who escaped — rather than eight initially announced by corrections officials — were housed in the same unit as the inmate diagnosed with COVID-19, but it’s unclear how close the women had been to each other.
One of the inmates had been apprehended in Rapid City by early Tuesday and was back in custody at the Pennington County Jail, the newspaper reports.
That inmate has been tested for coronavirus, but results are still pending, Noem said.