WATCH OUT: St. Clair inmate serving life for human trafficking escaped prison

Crime

UPDATE Jan. 25, 2019 — 

An inmate who escaped from the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville on Wednesday hid inside a trailer used to transport furniture from the facility according to a preliminary investigation.

Prison officials confirmed Friday that 30-year-old Corey Aris Davis concealed himself inside the trailer sometime while he was working in facility’s furniture plant that is managed by the Alabama Correctional Industries (ACI). 

Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, the trailer left the facility and was taken directly to the ACI facility in Montgomery, the department of correction said. Investigators found evidence Friday that confirms Davis had been inside the trailer and had used an item of furniture for concealment.  The evidence also shows that Davis exited the trailer sometime after it was parked at the ACI facility, according to investigators.

The ADOC has identified three inmate suspects at the prison who assisted Davis in his escape.  Their identities are not being released at this time. In addition to the recapture efforts and determining the details of the escape, the ADOC is working to identify how Davis was able to gain access to the trailer without being observed by prison officials, and why he was not reported missing until a security check at 8 p.m. Wednesday.  The facility remains locked down while the investigation is ongoing. 

Authorities believe Davis in no longer in the Montgomery area and are working closely with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force and other local and state agencies to bring Davis back into custody.  Davis was sentenced to life in 2017 for a human trafficking conviction in Lauderdale County.  

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SPRINGVILLE, Ala.(WIAT) —  The following was released by the Alabama Department of Corrections:

The Alabama Department of Corrections along with state and federal law enforcement agencies are searching for an inmate who escaped from the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville on Wednesday.         

Corey Aris Davis, 30, was reported missing from his cell during a security check at 8 p.m. Prison officials report that Davis was assigned to a work detail inside the prison on Wednesday and was seen by staff and other inmates during the day.  

Agents from the ADOC Investigations and Intelligence Division are at the prison investigating the circumstances that led to the escape.  The details of how Davis escaped are pending.  The ADOC is working with local and state law enforcement and the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force to bring Davis into custody.

Davis was sentenced to life in 2017 for a human trafficking conviction in Lauderdale County.  Davis is 5-feet 6-inches tall, weighs approximately 150 pounds, and has blond hair and blue eyes.  The public should not approach Davis but should contact their local law enforcement or the Alabama Department of Corrections at 1-800-831-8825 with information that could lead to his recapture.

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As of 5:00pm on Thursday, January 24th, Davis has still not been brought into custody — which makes some of the local residents living near the facility nervous.

“I mean obviously I’m nervous and scared,” says resident Kristen Peek. “It’s really close to home and we’re only a few miles from the prison.”

Peek lives in the Sweetwater neighborhood, right down the road from the correctional facility. The fact that Davis was convicted of human trafficking makes her even more unsettled.

“It’s a very serious and a scary crime,” says Peek. “Especially today because it’s such a big issue. For me having three children, it’s definitely scary.” 

A dense wooded area surrounds the correction facility: a fact that pust residents like Teresa Baccus a bit on edge. 

“He’s been out 24 hours and he could be anywhere out here,” says Baccus. “He could be out in the woods or anywhere. If he were out in the woods we wouldn’t know! We don’t go down there.”

Residents tell CBS 42 that normally when an inmate escapes or is thought to have escaped, they receive some type of warning. But in this case, no such notification was given.

“There should be a program in place that will contact everybody automatically in the area with one phone call,” says Tracy Martin, a resident. “Like the way the school systems do with bad weather. Something that would automatically notify everybody in the area.”

Stay with CBS 42 as this story develops . 

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