SHERIFF: Chowan County inmate holds jail staff hostage, escapes

SHERIFF: Chowan County inmate holds jail staff hostage, escapes

CHOWAN, N.C. (WITN) – The Chowan Sheriff Office’s says a search is underway for an escaped inmate who held jail staff hostage.

Officials say they were called to the Chowan County jail for an escaped inmate on Thursday around 5:30 a.m.

When they arrived, they found staff at the jail had been detained and held hostage by Russell Heath before he escaped.

Heath is 47 years old, is 6 feet tall, and weighs 190 pounds. Deputies say he was last seen wearing khaki pants, a blue flannel shirt, and a white t-shirt. He was also wearing white socks but no shoes and eyeglasses.

A photo released of Heath showed him walking inside the facility with what appeared to be a ring of jail keys.

Surveillance photos of Russell Heath escaping from the jail.

Surveillance photos of Russell Heath escaping from the jail.

Heath was being held for non-violent related crimes.

Deputies say they are getting help from other agencies in searching for the escapee.

Anyone with any information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Chowan County Sheriff’s Office at (252)-482-8484. You may also call our anonymous tip line at (252)-482-5100

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