TOMAH, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- 48 hours after their escape, the two convicts from Jackson County remain at large. Officials fear they may no longer be in the area, but are still urging people to take precautions.
The men walked away from the minimum security Black River Falls Correctional Center late Tuesday night. They were last seen Wednesday morning when they drove a stolen pick up truck into a cornfield, just outside of Tomah.
And after a fourth car was reported stolen Thursday morning, from a home on Juneau Road in the Town of Clifton, the Monroe County sheriff says he believes the two men are no longer in the area.
"You're know, we're licking our wounds because we sure were close enough to these guys that we should have had them," said Sheriff Peter Quirin.
Sheriff Quirin believes the two escaped inmates, 18-year-old James Misleveck and 29-year-old James Newman, likely fled the county in the stolen car.
"We're coordinating with other agencies that need information," Quirin said.
Wednesday afternoon, police focused their search just a mile and a half down Juneau road, where the inmates abandoned a truck they stole earlier in the morning. Then, sometime between 11 PM Wednesday evening and 5 AM Thursday morning, the two men made their way up a driveway on Juneau Road, where the found an unlocked car with the keys in the ignition.
"Honestly, my first thought was that my dad was playing a trick on me," said James Shepard, who's car was stolen. "I went outside and looked and it was nowhere. I had those guys that escaped in the back of my head so I was like oh, it was probably them."
Shepard says he remembered to lock his home, but is in the habit of leaving his car unlocked.
"I'm assuming now that everyone is going to start locking up their houses and their cars," Shepard said. "I mean, people think about it but you don't think that you have to. I'm sure a lot of people are going to start doing that. I know we're going to make an extra point to do it."
Shepard's Black 1996 Chrysler Concorde, license plate 728-TDX, had about a quarter of a tank of gas. He says the inmates could have gone maybe 40 miles before the gas light came on.
"When this stolen vehicle turns up, that they stole last night, that'll give us an indicator of where they might be," Quirin said. "But I expect, they stole that vehicle last night and I suspect they've already stolen another one."
Sheriff Quirin says though the men likely left the county, the sheriff's department is still looking for them.
Anyone who sees Misleveck or Newman should consider them armed and dangerous and call 911 right away.