Logan County Sheriff Steve Smith said Tuesday that he has, for now, called off large scale searches for a county jail inmate who escaped shortly after noon Monday.
Instead, Smith said deputies will begin interviewing friends and relatives of Gary Patrick Topham, 49, of Magazine.
“We’ve got some people we’re going to speak to to find out if anyone has seen him or where he might be going,” Smith said Tuesday. “Basically, we’re calling off large scale searches until we get some information.”
Topham escaped by climbing a chain-link fence topped with razor wire that surrounds the Logan County Detention Center exercise yard in Paris. When he escaped, Topham was wearing a black-and-white-striped jail uniform and jail-issued flip-flops. The uniform top was found in an abandoned rail bed south of the detention center. Topham also left behind his glasses.
Monday’s search was conducted by county deputies, officers with area police departments, Arkansas State Police and two teams of tracking dogs, Smith said. The dogs followed a scent Monday afternoon that led them to the American Legion building in Paris, located off State Highway 309, two miles south of the county jail. The dogs lost the scent there, Smith said.
Monday’s search was called off at 7:15 p.m. because the dogs lost the scent, it was getting dark and raining, Smith said. “The rain certainly didn’t help the dogs,” Smith said.
Smith said he had no indication Topham had help in his escape and also said he doesn’t believe Topham is still in the Paris area.
Topham is 5-foot-11 and weighs 160 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. Topham is believed to be cut and bleeding, according to Logan County Chief Deputy Sheriff David Spicer. The public is asked to notify law enforcement by calling 911 if they see Topham.
Topham was jailed in the Logan County Detention Center on Friday, Nov. 1 following an appearance in 15th Judicial District Circuit Court in Booneville. He has been charged with failure to appear, fleeing, manufacture of meth or cocaine and possession of a controlled substance. He was being held on two, $250,000 bonds, which were set last Friday.