Search continues for Muscogee County Prison escapee

Nearly a day after walking away from a work detail near Kendrick High School, Muscogee County Prison escapee Avery Javon Kirksey has eluded police and search teams.

Kirksey was spotted Friday afternoon during a burglary in the 1600 block of Schatulga Road. Warden Dwight Hamrick said today that authorities have extended the search area some five miles from the prison facility on Schatulga Road.

A tactical team with K9 units scoured the woods in Carver Park and homes along Schatulga Road Friday evening after Kirksey apparently broke into a home. Hamrick said the homeowner surprised Kirksey as he was leaving a home on Schatulga Road. “He is definitely on the run,” the warden said.

Authorities were confident the person who broke into the home is Kirksey because the inmate’s prison clothes were found in the back of the house where the breakin occurred. With the home about a mile from the prison, authorities were keeping a close watch on many streets in the Forrest Park neighborhood.

Kirksey, who is scheduled for release in 2021, walked away from an armed work detail on Amber Drive shortly after 1:30 p.m. The prisoner was last seen wearing a white uniform with “State Prisoner” printed on the back. He is described as black, 6-foot and weighing 160 pounds.

Hamrick said the 26-year-old escapee is now wearing kahki shorts and a black shirt.

Shortly after the escape, Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said authorities didn’t believe he had been picked up or anyone assisted him. “He has no record of violence or assaults, but anyone who sees him is advised not to approach him and call 911,” the mayor said.

Tomlinson said it’s unclear how Kirksey managed to walk away from the armed guards.

“That’s something we’re looking into, of course,” she said. “Mr. Kirksey is well advised to turn himself in, or he’s going to be in a heap of trouble.”

Kirksey of Statesboro, Ga., was serving time for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.