Manhunt Underway In LeFlore County For Escaped Inmate In Missouri

A manhunt is underway for a kidnapping suspect who stole a police car in LeFlore County, according to Heavener Police Chief Ty Armstrong.

Law enforcement is searching the areas of Heavener and Howe both in cars and on foot, using K9s.

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Chief Armstrong asked the public to keep doors locked and be aware of the search.

Stolen police car; mugshot of Travis Lee Davis Poteau Daily News
Photo of car is courtesy Poteau Daily News

Howe Elementary School is not on any official lockdown, but the district is following typical protocol by keeping doors locked and having a school resource officer on site.

Travis Lee Davis was found missing from his cell block late Sunday night in the Pettis County Jail in central Missouri, according to the sheriff's office there.

Travis Davis, 30, is a white male, who is 6-feet tall and weighs 150 pounds. He has brown hair and blue eyes. The sheriff said he has several tattoos, including an eye inside a triangle on the front of his neck. He was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and gray pants.

The sheriff said Travis Lee Davis – who was being held on $110,000 bond for various charges, including kidnapping, endangering the welfare of a minor, domestic assault, resisting arrest and parole violation – was found missing after an extensive search of the jail facility.

Wednesday morning, police got a call from a convenience store in the Heavener area. the woman who called said she was a victim of kidnapping.

When police arrived, the woman told them the man who kidnapped her was sleeping in his car in the parking lot. The man ran away as police approached, but officers were able to capture him.

The officers put Davis in the back of the police car, behind a cage. He was handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

The officers then stood outside their vehicle, interviewing the kidnap victim. The car was running, but the key was not in the car. That key is a fob that was with the officers at the time.

At this time, Davis was able to open the window that separated the back of the vehicle from the front, climb through the window into the driver's seat, and take off.

Davis was able to drive the car about 1.5 miles before crashing it into a tree off Old Highway 59 in Howe.

Two trains were approaching the area when Davis crashed the stolen police car, Chief Armstrong said. It's a possibility Davis may have gotten on one of those trains.

Police don't yet know how Davis opened the window. It was completely closed, and should only be possible to open the window from the officers' side.

Police also don't yet know how Davis was able to drive so far without the key fob.

None of the weapons inside the police car were missing.

Armstrong told ABC News Wednesday afternoon the alleged kidnap victim has been identified as Christole Hurst.

That alleged victim is now being pursued as a suspect, LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale told 40/29 News Wednesday afternoon. "There were numerous phone calls between he and her when he was in the county jail there (Missouri) and she had been driving him through southern Missouri since his escape and hiding him out."

Seale said phone records show she and Davis talked on the phone ahead of Davis' escape Sunday, night,"There were numerous phone calls between he and her when he was in the county jail there (Missouri) and she had been driving him through southern Missouri since his escape and hiding him out."

She and Davis were also seen on surveillance video playing an a casino in Oklahoma at 4 a.m. Wednesday, Seale said. The woman lost money and Davis went to sleep in the car. That is when she called police saying she was a kidnapping victim.

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