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One inmate on the loose after escaping from Bent County Jail, another found dead

Mark Demond Fox
Posted at 12:52 PM, Jul 25, 2023

BENT COUNTY — According to the Bent County Office of Emergency Management Facebook page, law enforcement is currently searching for Mark Desmond Fox— one of four inmates who escaped the Bent County Jail. The other three inmates that escaped have been accounted for.

The sheriff's office says Fox has changed clothing since the escape was announced at 12:02 p.m. Fox is described as being 6' 04" tall and weighing 200 lbs.

Bent County Sheriff Jake Six told News5 that the inmates escaped on Sunday after they pushed through the sheet rock ceiling in their cell, which used to serve as a kitchen. From there, the inmates escaped through the roof of an adjoining bathroom.

According to Sheriff Six, the jail does a head count of inmates via a video survey by camera. The inmates allegedly bundled blankets on their beds to make it look like they were still in their cells.

The below agencies were notified of the inmates escape:

  • Pueblo County Sheriff's Office
  • Department of Corrections
  • Rocky Ford Police Department
  • La Junta Police Department

Sheriff Six told News5 that other agencies have been notified after a BOLO (Be On The Lookout) was released for Fox. He also said that the Prowers County Sheriff's Office is investigating to see if any of the Bent County Jail staff will need disciplinary action in relation to the inmates escape.
As of 1:30 p.m., the Bent County Sheriff's Office says that Benjamin Valdez was found dead in Pueblo after a possible drug overdose.

Valdez was described as being 6' 00" tall and weighing 230 lbs.

Bent County residents are being asked to keep their doors and vehicles locked.

The Bent County Sheriff's Office has not provided any information surrounding the circumstances of these inmates' escape, or when the escape occurred.

This is a developing story and will be updated as News5 learns more.

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