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UPDATE: Escaped Cotton Co. Inmate Still at Large

UPDATE: Authorities narrowed their search for Robert Turk overnight Tuesday to a few miles east and north of Walters. In fact, they say they have a one-mile perimeter they believe he's in.

The sheriff's department brought in a helicopter to use night and thermal vision to try and find Turk hiding in the woods. Investigators also brought in police dogs from Stephens County to try and track him. He's been on the run for more than 24-hours now after breaking out of the jail in Walters. The sheriff considers him dangerous, based on the fact he's awaiting trial for shooting and injuring two people back in June.

Stay with 7NEWS and our Facebook page for the latest updates.

 ORIGINAL STORY

WALTERS, Okla_ Police are still searching for a Cotton County inmate who escaped from the jail around 11:30 PM Sunday.

He's Robert Turk, the man accused of shooting and injuring two people in their home back in June. He also led the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on a long chase before shooting and wounding himself. When he was finally taken to the county jail in July, he tried to run again by slipping out a door before he was booked. He was caught within a minute, but this escape has lasted much longer.

It's clear Robert Lee Turk is no stranger to serving time or fleeing from it. Because of his history, police consider him armed and dangerous, and they're hoping they can track him down as quickly as possible. Turk was last seen three blocks away from the jail near the intersection of 1st and Kansas, wearing a white shirt and red shorts. Now, Sheriff Kent Simpson said no stone will go unturned in Cotton County until he's found.

"Right now, we have a grid search going on the whole county," Simpson said. "We're going through all old abandoned barns and houses, abandoned buildings, and actually searching them one at a time as a grid."

It's a task so large and tedious that surrounding law enforcement from Comanche, Tillman and Jefferson Counties are all on hand in Walters. Simpson said police are checking several cars as they pass in and out of town, and they're heavily patrolling highways 65 and 53 out in the county. As for Walters, Simpson said they're keeping public safety a priority.

"Anytime we have anyone of danger in our county, we like to make the decision case by case," Simpson said. "In this case, because he is considered armed and dangerous, we asked the schools if they will go on lockdown, and then we have law enforcement going in and out of the school all day long and all night."

If you live in Cotton County or the surrounding areas, Simpson asks to be on the lookout. He said getting information from the community may help the investigation.

"Right now, we really need everyone to pay attention to their surroundings," Simpson said. "If you see anything out of the ordinary, or if you see Mr. Turk, I ask that you immediately call the Sheriff's Department, that you don't try to apprehend him, and that you don't do anything, because he is considered armed and dangerous. We would like to take him without incident."

Sheriff Simpson said his department will not rest until Turk is behind bars once again. He said Turk will face additional escape charges when he's caught as a result of this one.

 

 

 

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