Bradley Gillespie, 50, had been imprisoned in the Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio since 2016 for murder. However, he and James Lee, 47, arrested for burglary and safecracking and convicted in 2021, broke out of that facility last Tuesday. Their escape started a huge manhunt that ended in the capture of Lee and the recovery of the corpse of Gillespie.
Lee was captured in Kentucky on Wednesday. His capture followed a police pursuit of a stolen car both men were suspected to be in. The vehicle crashed and both men fled on foot, with police capturing Lee at that point and Gillespie getting away.
Gillespie was then found dead in a river, which the Henderson Police Department announced in a press conference and then summarized in a press release, saying:
On 05/28/2023 at approximately 12:32 hours the Henderson Police Department received a call of a possible body in the Ohio River, near Hayes Boat Ramp. Officers, and members of the Henderson Fire Department, responded to the area and confirmed there was a body in the river. Based on our initial investigation it is believed the body recovered from the Ohio River is Bradley Gillespie. An autopsy will be performed Tuesday (05/30/2023). The last time Gillespie was known to have been seen before today’s recovery was shortly after he fled from officers on foot at approximately 03:19 hours on the morning of 05/24/2023.
Watch the press conference here:
As you can hear in the press conference, Henderson Police Chief Sean McKinney noted that a boater on the Ohio River called in a report of what he thought looked like a body in the water. It turned out to be such a body when the police responded, and it was later identified as Gillespie. The decomposition of it showed he had been dead for about four days.
WBNS 10 described their escape up to the point of the car crash that led to Lee’s capture and Gillespie’s fleeing, saying:
During a prisoner count at 11 a.m. Tuesday, ODRC officials found that Lee was missing. An AOCI warden approved an emergency count of all prisoners in the facility and escape posts were guarded. It was then discovered that Gillespie was also missing.
The ODRC notified law enforcement and officers from multiple jurisdictions. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office and the Patrol responded to the facility.
During the course of the investigation, prison officials determined Gillespie and Lee were last seen on surveillance video inside the facility at 8:41 a.m. on Monday. They were able to exited the prison after concealing themselves in a dumpster.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol released information to law enforcement agencies in other states that Gillespie and Lee were believed to be traveling together inside a stolen vehicle.
Featured image credit: Williams County Sheriff’s Office
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