UPDATE: Howard Co. Sheriff Reveals Details of Inmate Escape

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HOWARD COUNTY - Walter Estay had more than six-and-a-half hours before sheriff's deputies received word of his escape. That's according to Howard County Sheriff Mike Neal, who said the 21-year-old trapped a jailer in a cell around 1 a.m. Monday after sneaking past the jailer.

"We only have one jailer on staff at any time, so if you lock the door a jailer is stuck in there," Neal said. "He was stuck in there until one of the day shift jailers showed up."

Sheriff's deputies are investigating whether Estay may be driving a Toyota Rav 4, reported stolen on the west side of Fayette Monday morning. Neal said Estay was on probation for a first-degree robbery conviction when he was picked up for tampering with a motor vehicle back on July 4.

Estay reportedly stole the jailer's phone and a small amount of cash on his way out of the jail. Neal said he had received some reports Estay was sighted in the Columbia area, but he isn't sure anymore whether that is accurate.

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