Authorities try to determine how inmate escaped

By Betty Simpson |

Published 10/30 2013 03:55PM

Updated 10/31 2013 11:49AM

Latest: 10:01 pm
DECATUR -- An inmate escaped. Now investigators are trying to figure out how he pulled it off. It happened Wednesday afternoon at the Macon County Jail. Police say the inmate walked right out the front door in the 300-block of South Franklin Street.

After a four hour manhunt, U.S. Marshals found him. Now people want to know how this happened in the first place. His phone was ringing off the hook, word spread fast; an inmate escaped.

"He had been sentenced to 3-years in the Illinois Department of Corrections, " Lt. Jamie Belcher said.

25-year old Schuyler McCoy had been in jail for two months; convicted of aggravated battery and great bodily harm. He was sentenced to prison last week, but he had other plans.

Police say he posed as a different inmate and told officers he bonded out. He was then escorted down to the main lobby of the jail.

"Typically the inmate will be brought to the front to the intake area and changed into civilian clothing," Lt. Belcher said.

McCoy changed into a white t-shirt and black pants. Protocol dictates the officer then verifies the inmate's name and picture through their computer system. It's something McCoy slid right past.

"It could possibly be that the pictures resembled one another."

McCoy then walked out the front door but the security camera saw his every move. Hours later, Belcher's phone was still ringing. U.S. Marshals notified him they arrested McCoy at his home in the 2100-block of East William Street.

Police say it's the first time someone has beaten the system here and they're investigating to make sure it never happens again.

The 3-year sentence McCoy was facing could become 15 - 30 years for escaping. McCoy's family says he was put under psychiatric observation when he was 7-years old and has been battling depression ever since.

A Florida prison escape made national headlines earlier this month. Two killers were let out of prison because of fake paperwork. They were captured last weekend.

Their release led the corrections department to change its policy for early prisoner releases. It also prompted judges to change how orders are filed in the clerk's office.
Update: 6:39 pm
MACON COUNTY -- Police say an escaped inmate is back in custody. 25-year old Schuyler McCoy was released from custody after telling officers he was an inmate who was being released on bond.

The U.S. Marshals took McCoy into custody a short time ago. We'll update this story on the WCIA-3 News at 10.
Original: 3:55 pm
MACON COUNTY -- The sheriff's department, U.S. Marshals and city police are looking for a man who escaped. Officials say 25-year old Schuyler McCoy identified himself to correctional officers as another inmate while the jail was in the process of releasing an inmate on bond.

McCoy is a white man, 5'11", about 150 lbs., with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen wearing a white t-shirt and black pants.

Anyone with information about McCoy's location is asked to call authorities, including 911, immediately.

Decatur & Macon County Crime Stoppers
(217) 423 - TIPS
Text: DPD333 + info to CRIMES (274637)
Macon County Sheriff's Office
(217) 424 - 1311

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