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Escaped Idaho inmate and armed accomplice recaptured as two other men found dead

Skylar Meade, 31, was busted out of hospital in a night-time raid on Wednesday

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Thursday 21 March 2024 21:30 GMT
Escaped Idaho inmate and armed accomplice recaptured as two other men found dead
Escaped Idaho inmate and armed accomplice recaptured as two other men found dead (AP / Boise Police Dept)

An escaped inmate and his armed accomplice have been located and taken into custody in Idaho, following a dramatic prison-break earlier this week.

Prisoner Skylar Meade, 31, who had previously been serving a 20-year sentence for shooting at a sheriff during a high-speed chase, was busted out of hospital in a night-time raid on Wednesday.

At a press conference on Thursday, Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar said Meade, who was aligned with a white supremacist prison group, and his accomplice Nicolas Umphenour, had been recaptured earlier in the day witout incident.

”Around 2pm this afternoon, following a lengthy investigation, the two suspects who we have been seeking we’re located in the Twin Falls area,” Mr Winegar said.

“There was a short vehicle pursuit and both suspects were taken into custody separately. There were no shots fired or extensive use of force in this operation, for which we are thankful.”

According to law enforcement, detectives are now investigating two homicides at separate locations, and as Paris and Clearwater counties that are believed to be tied to the escape. Both homicides involve adult males and detectives are actively investigating.

No further information on the homicides is available at this time, though the county coroner will provide identity as well as the official cause of death in due course.

Shackles were found at the scene of one of the homicides. Those are being investigated currently.

The development comes nearly a day after Meade escaped from prison while being transported from a hospital back to a prison. According to police, Umphenour pulled up to the ambulance bay and began shooting allowing Meade to escape into his car.

Three correctional officers were shot and wounded in the ensuing firefight, including two of the correctional officers escorting Meade. A third was hit by a police officer responding to the incident but is reported not to have sustained serious injuries.

Image of Skylar Meade released by Boise Police following his escape from custody (Boise Police)

Director of Idaho Department of Corrections Josh Tewalt told reporters on Thursday that on of the officers had been released from hospital, while two others remained there but were “stable and improving”.

“I think with today's news, their spirits are lifted,” he said.

Mr Tewalt added that both Meade and Umphenour had common acquaintances in custody and were members of the white supremacist group Aryan Knights.

Lieutenant Colonel Sheldon Kelly said: “I want to thank all the law enforcement agencies across Idaho that have assisted with this. I know it's the Idaho way but there was an immense collaboration and cooperation all across the state to come to this conclusion.

“Ever since this is kicked off, we've had professionals working tirelessly on this issue to get to the point where we are today.”

The two had overlapped in housing on an off in custody, from December 2022 to when Umphenour was released in January 2024. Both were housed at the Idaho maximum security institution.

Officials say that the two men had left Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center before police backup arrived at the scene on Wednesday night. They were able to leave the premises in a grey four-door sedan.

Chief Winegar previously described the escape as a “brazen, violent, and apparently coordinated attack on Idaho Department of Corrections personnel”.

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