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.
The sheriff’s office last saw Todd Edwin Miller, 40, and Tyler James Walton, 20, around 11:15 p.m. Wednesday in their cell. Deputies noticed they 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 mortar 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 at least two stories to make it to the ground.
Around 3:15 a.m., 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, Idaho.
Miller and Walton were taken to Kootenai County Public Safety building and charged with escape.
Miller was originally taken into custody following a high-speed chase. Two police cars wrecked during that incident. He was charged with felony eluding 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.