3 escape from 2 Mississippi prisons; 2 'armed, dangerous'


31-year-old Jonathan Blankenship and 28-year-old Christopher Benson High

Two inmates who escaped from the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility on Friday were caught Wednesday in Meridian, where they were trying to hide out by blending in with the city's homeless population, authorities said. 

Jonathan Blankenship, 31, and Christopher Benson High, 28, were caught in Meridian, said Ward Calhoun, chief deputy of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office.

Blankenship was serving five years for conspiracy and aggravated assault on a police officer in Alcorn County. High was serving 12 years for burglary in Carroll County.

Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie said Blankenship was found near Rush Foundation Hospital, while High was caught near Sowashee Creek close to L.O.V.E.’s Kitchen.

Sollie said the men were staying in Meridian, even stopping at a shelter to take a shower. 

"The information we have is that they stayed at a residence here in the city," Sollie said.

Both men are in custody at the Lauderdale County Detention Facility.

Sollie said authorities are interviewing individuals who had contact with the escapees during their stop in Meridian. The department of corrections will determine if charges will be filed, he said. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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