“Dangerous” inmate escapes custody while getting treatment at hospital in St. Louis

Authorities in Missouri are searching for a prison inmate who escaped custody early Thursday morning while receiving treatment at a St. Louis hospital. 

The inmate, identified as 45-year-old Tommy Wayne Boyd, is a convicted child sex offender serving a 30-year sentence for statutory sodomy and “should be considered dangerous,” the St. Louis County Police Department said in a Facebook post. Statutory sodomy applies to certain sex crimes that involve minors younger than 14, under Missouri state law.

Boyd was last seen by staff at Mercy Hospital South, in the greater St. Louis area, just before 4 a.m. on Thursday, and police received a call reporting the escape from custody about 30 minutes later. The inmate was transferred Wednesday from the Potosi Correctional Facility to the hospital for treatment. 

Surveillance footage from the hospital shows Boyd leaving the building on foot and “traveling in an unknown direction,” authorities said. The St. Louis County Police Department released still images taken from that footage, in which Boyd appears to be wearing a dark jacket, orange slippers and light-colored gym shorts. Police described him as a 5-foot-7 white man with balding hair and a beard. It is not known whether the inmate is armed. 

Authorities were actively investigating Boyd’s escape on Thursday, and they warned residents in the area to be aware of their surroundings and promptly report any potential sightings by calling 911. Other tips can be reported to investigators at the St. Louis County Police Department or to Crime Stoppers, which would allow reporters to remain anonymous and possibly receive a reward for information, police said.  

Tommy Wayne Boyd is seen in surveillance footage leaving Mercy Hospital South in St. Louis, Missouri, early Thursday morning, Sept. 21.

St. Louis County Police Department

Boyd’s escape comes on the heels of several other instances in recent months where inmates fled custody while receiving hospital treatment. 

Earlier this month, officials in New York City located and returned to custody an escaped inmate, 44-year-old Yenchun Chen, who was arrested in late July for possession of a controlled substance, CBS New York reported. 

In Philadelphia, Danielo Cavalcante eluded Pennsylvania authorities for two weeks before being captured.

In Washington, D.C., authorities are still looking for a murder suspect who has remained at large for weeks. The suspect, Christopher Haynes, escaped from custody at George Washington University Hospital on the afternoon of Sept. 6, the Metropolitan Police Department said. Police announced a $25,000 reward for information leading to Haynes’ arrest the following day.

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