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UPDATE: Escapees from Columbia Correctional Institution captured

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Tomas Deering and James Newman

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Rockford police confirm that the two men who escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution have been captured. Read the latest HERE.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- The search for two maximum-security inmates who escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution Thursday morning will resume Friday.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office told 27 News they would be back out looking for Thomas E. Deering, 45, and James Robert Newman, 36, but did not say when or where the search would take place.

The escaped inmates are considered dangerous. Call 911, do not approach the men if you see them.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Two maximum-security inmates who escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution Thursday morning are still missing after a day-long search.

Authorities say Thomas E. Deering, 45, and James Robert Newman, 36, scaled fences to break out of the prison just before 5 a.m. Thursday. They are considered dangerous, and anyone who sees them should call 911 immediately.

Law enforcement from multiple agencies were near County Highway K and Sleepy Hollow Road in Columbia County Thursday afternoon with drones and search dogs -- focusing mainly on wooded areas near I-39/90/94.

Authorities confirmed to 27 News that search was for the inmates. Crews left that scene as the sun started to go down.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Authorities confirmed they are searching a rural area between Arlington and Lodi for two missing inmates

Law enforcement on the scene near County Highway K and Sleepy Hollow Road in Columbia County confirmed to 27 News they are looking for Thomas E. Deering, 45, and James Robert Newman, 36.

The two men escaped Columbia Correctional Institution jsut before 5 a.m. Thursday.

The search has drawn a large response from police departments and sheriff's deputies.


UPDATE (WKOW) -- Two inmates who escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution climbed over two security fences and took a cab to Poynette, the sheriff's office says.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Portage Police Department were dispatched to CCI just before 5:00 a.m. Thursday after the inmates, Thomas E. Deering, 45, and James Robert Newman, 36, escaped.

The sheriff says both men were housed in the maximum security section of the prison. Sheriff Roger Brandner says he is unaware of any other successful escape from CCI in the past, although there have been attempts.

The sheriff's office says law enforcement conducted a neighborhood search using drones and K9 units as soon as they were on scene.

Sheriff Brandner says they quickly found out Newman and Deering went to a local hotel and were picked up by a cab, then dropped off in Poynette.

The inmates have not been found yet.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office is getting help from the Portage Police Department, the Poynette Police Department, FBI, U.S. Marshal's Office, Department of Justice - Division of Criminal Investigations and the Wisconsin State Patrol. The sheriff says CCI is fully cooperating with the investigation.

It was originally thought the inmates had traveled outside of Columbia County, possibly into the Madison area.

Deering had escaped from the Waupun Correctional Institution in October of 2002.

According to court records, Newman also escaped from a correctional facility in 2012.


PORTAGE (WKOW) -- Authorities in Portage are asking residents to lock their doors after two inmates escaped from Columbia Correctional Institution

According to an alert sent by Portage police early Thursday morning, people need to stay home and call 911 if they see anyone suspicious.

The men they are looking for are Thomas Deering (left) and James Newman (right). They have both been convicted for violent crimes, according to online court records.

No other information is available at this time. Stay with 27 News for the latest updates on this developing story.

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