It has been two days since a Florida prisoner escaped a prison transport van in rural South Dakota. The South Dakota Highway Patrol tells us the search has been scaled back for 31 year old Oscar Antonio Herrera-Menjivar, but are not giving up.
We wanted to learn more about how inmates are transported and had to look no further than Minnehaha County.
Authorities tell us the company that was transporting Herrera-Menjivar was a privately-owned prison transport service without any markings along the outside.
Though we don't know the details of the escape over the weekend, we wanted to find out how similar prisoners are transported here at home.
Minnehaha County has been transporting inmates around for years, sometimes every day. It's a shock to some that an inmate could actually get away and at a gas stop in Spencer, SD, it did.
"It's a surprise, you don't for see that happening and it's a rare occasion when it does happen," Sgt. Jason Gearman said.
Sergeant Gearman says he can only name a few occasions where they've had to hire our a private company to transport their inmates. They've got plenty of their own options.
"We generally do our transports on our own because we've been trained to do it, we know the people doing it, we don't have a stranger doing it. It has to be cost-effective and it has to be safe for us, the public and the person being transported," Sgt. Gearman said.
If an inmate is being transported in Minnehaha County, whether they're low-risk or high-risk, they'll sit in a van like this. If they even attempt to escape, it's going to be pretty hard.
"They can't get out of the van unless we let them out," he said.
While he can't speak for the company that transported this inmate, he can speculate how the inmate may have gotten away.
"He may have been handcuffed, shackled, if he had the plan to begin with, he may have had the opportunity and he planned it and it fell into place," Sgt. Gearman said.
Thursday, February 20 2014 7:42 PM EST2014-02-21 00:42:09 GMT
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises. Some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides inMore >>
Behind the glory of football there are the scars and bruises, some visible, some not. We still have much to learn about the health risk football puts on it's players, but some of the biggest strides in research are happening on South Dakota's fields.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 11:09 PM EST2014-03-08 04:09:14 GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Search and rescue teams are looking for a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet with 239 people aboard - including three adult Americans and one infant. The airline says it lostMore >>
Malaysia Airlines says the plane was carrying 227 passengers, including two infants, and 12 crew members.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 10:31 PM EST2014-03-08 03:31:23 GMT
Six weeks after arson shuttered the Co-op Natural Foods Store, shelves are stocked and customers are coming through the doors once again. And it's not just the food they're excited about. "The thingMore >>
Six weeks after arson shuttered the Co-op Natural Foods Store, shelves are stocked and customers are coming through the doors once again.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:19 PM EST2014-03-08 02:19:54 GMT
A Yankton man was found dead in a mobile home, Friday morning and Police are calling it a homicide. It happened on the 1100 block of E. 8th Street near Peninah Street. That's on the southeast part ofMore >>
Authorities say a Yankton man has been charged with second-degree homicide as murder in connection with his uncle's death.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 9:04 PM EST2014-03-08 02:04:53 GMT
The Aberdeen Regional Airport is going to try and add a little excitement to its walls. The airport has hired Aberdeen artists Nick and Nicole Fischer to paint a mural to place on the wall in the airport'sMore >>
The Aberdeen Regional Airport is going to try and add a little excitement to its walls. The airport has hired Aberdeen artists Nick and Nicole Fischer to paint a mural to place on the wall in the airport's center waiting room. The mural will depict Aberdeen's history.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:57 PM EST2014-03-08 01:57:38 GMT
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia Airlines says it has lost contact with a plane carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew on route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The airline says that Flight MH370 hasMore >>
The airline says that Flight MH370 has lost contact with Subang air traffic control at 2:40 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 8:37 PM EST2014-03-08 01:37:00 GMT
Sporting their favorite jerseys, they huddle around former Viking Ben Leber just hoping he'll sign one of their items. But, Leber isn't in at Robert Bennis Elementary in Brandon to talk football.More >>
More than 60 percept of students don't eat breakfast daily, that's according to the American College of Sports Medicine. So, what's being done to change this statistic?More >>
Friday, March 7 2014 4:19 PM EST2014-03-07 21:19:12 GMT
Cattle ranchers and law enforcement in the American West are fighting a tough new battle to protect the herds -- keeping meth addicts from stealing their cows and selling them to finance their drug habit. CattleMore >>
Cattle ranchers and law enforcement in the American West are fighting a tough new battle to protect the herds -- keeping meth addicts from stealing their cows and selling them to finance their drug habit.More >>