BENEWAH COUNTY, Idaho— Two inmates reportedly escaped from the Benewah County Jail by digging through the wall and using their bed sheets to scale down the building, according to sources close to the investigation.
Sheriff's deputies last saw Todd Edwin Miller, 40, and Tyler James Walton, 20, around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday in their cell. They noticed the inmates were missing around 12:30 a.m. and alerted other law enforcement agencies shortly after.
Miller and Walton were staying in the same cell as Jesse Wilkenson, an inmate who escaped from the jail twice last year. While the walls made of three layers of brick and morter are 16 inches thick, they are rotting around the building, which was built in 1920. Authorities say the men dug through the wall and used the sheets to make a rope. They scaled down three stories to make it to the ground.
Around 3:15, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal Officer saw a man run from a car outside of the Smoke Shop in Worley. When the officer looked inside, he saw orange pants belonging to the Benewah County Sheriff’s Office.
Kootenai County deputies, Idaho State Police officers and Spokane County’s helicopter Air One all assisted with searching the area. Around 6:30 a.m., they were able to track down Miller. Deputies found Walton an hour later hiding in some brush. Both were taken into custody without incident.
Police later determined the suspects’ vehicle was recently stolen out of St. Maries.
Miller and Walton were taken to the Kootenai County Public Safety building and charged with escape.
Miller broke his arm during the escape. The suspect was orginally taken into custody following a high speed chase. Two police cars wrecked during that incident. He was charged with felony elluding and possession of a stolen car. He also has an extensive criminal history in Washington.
Walton was in jail for a probation violation of a burglary charge.