Two Prison Officials Call it Quits Following Escape

When convicted murderers escape from a prison thanks to a plan as simple as merely having someone throw cutting tools over a fence, heads are gonna roll -- or people are gonna quit before they get the boot.

That seems to be the case following last month's escape of three Arizona prison inmates -- we learned over the weekend that two officials at the prison from which the men escaped have resigned their posts.

Unit Warden Lori Lieder and an unidentified unit security chief resigned last week from Arizona State Prison -- Kingman, a private prison run by Management & Training Corp., prison officials announced yesterday.

The escape has raised questions about the security of certain Arizona prisons -- and for good reason, the escape wasn't exactly Houdini-esque.

Authorities believe that the fiancee/ cousin of one of the inmates simply threw something resembling a bolt-cutter over a fence at the prison. The tool was then retrieved inside the prison walls by inmates John McCluskey, Tracy Province, and Daniel Renwick, who used it to cut a hole in the fence, through which they made their escape.

Renwick and Province were both re-captured but McCluskey and the women who police say aided in the escape, Casslyn Welch, are still on the loose.

The two have been linked to the murder of an Oklahoma couple in New Mexico and are believed to be somewhere in the American Northwest, or Canada.

A woman who claims she saw Welch at a restaurant in a small town in Montana described the fugitive by saying she "looked a meth addict."

Just three days after being spotted in Montana, authorities thought the two may have been responsible for the armed robbery of a beauty salon in Arkansas. Authorities have since backed off that theory and are again focusing the investigation in northwestern states.

Since going on the lam, authorities believe the two have changed their appearances, saying McCluskey has dyed his hair black and is rockin' a black beard, while Welch has reportedly dyed her hair blond.

Anyone with info on the whereabouts of the cous-friends is asked to call 911 or the Arizona Department of Corrections at 602-542-1212. 

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James King
Contact: James King