Prison Officials Search for Inmate Missing From Nelsonville Prison

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Update 9:30 p.m. NELSONVILLE – All resources have been put in place to search for an inmate convicted of murder who reportedly escaped from a Nelsonville prison.

Grant E. Doepel, deputy communications chief for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, confirmed in a statement to media that John Modie, 58, had escaped from the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville at about 11 p.m. Sunday night. Modie “should be considered dangerous,” according to the department.

Modie“We are working with the local law enforcement agencies and the Ohio State Highway patrol. All available resources are being utilized to apprehend John Modie,” Doepel said in the release.

The department is asking for public assistance in reporting suspicious activity.

“Considering the storms that passed throughout the night, we suspect the escapee may seek shelter,” Doepel wrote.

Modie is described as a white male, 6’4″ tall, weighting approximately 230 lbs. with gray hair and a gray mustache. He was last seen wearing a blue hoodie, a gray sweatshirt and blue pants.

He is currently serving 18 years to life for murder, robbery and escape.

“If you see any suspicious person, please try to specifically note the location and a detailed description of their clothing and physical characteristics,” according to the release.

Modie reportedly has family ties in Washington County.

Hocking College has closed until noon, but the Ohio University Police Department has said they “do not believe there is a threat to the Ohio University Athens Campus” at this time, according to Lt. Tim Ryan of OUPD.

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said his office is in “constant contact” with the warden of the correctional facility and has offered any resources needed. He also advised that county residents take safety precautions.

“Don’t leave keys in your cars, be observant of your surroundings,” Smith said.

The sheriff said increased patrol is not planned, but that deputies will be looking out for suspicious activity and remaining “very vigilant.”

To report suspicious activity or persons, call the Ohio State Highway Patrol Athens post at (740) 593-6611 or  #677 on a mobile device.



NELSONVILLE, Ohio (AP) – Ohio prison officials say an inmate convicted of killing a woman in Cleveland has been reported missing from a southeast Ohio prison.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on Monday confirmed the possible escape of 58-year-old John Modie from the Hocking Unit of the Southeastern Correctional Complex in Nelsonville. The department says Modie was found to be missing during the 11:00 p.m. count of inmates Sunday night.

The Ohio University Police Department said in a tweet that they are monitoring the situation but “don’t believe it’s a threat to OU at this time.”

Ohio prison officials say they are searching the facility and working with local law enforcement authorities and the State Highway Patrol.

The correction department says Modie was convicted of murder in the Cleveland slaying in 2003 and is serving a sentence of 15 years to life for that conviction. Prison officials say Modie also was convicted of robbery and escape.