The Limestone County Sheriff’s Office is looking for an inmate it says walked away from work release.
They are searching for Joseph Lee Davis, who went missing about 1:45 p.m. It is suspected he walked off from Cast Products Inc. on Hwy. 127 in Athens.
Sandi Slaton; Courtesy of the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office
According to the sheriff's office, Davis’s girlfriend, 33-year-old Sandi Slaton, has been arrested for facilitating his escape. Slaton confessed to investigators that she gave Davis a cell phone while he was working at CPI. She also brought him money, food and alcohol from time to time, the sheriff's office reported on Tuesday.
Davis used the cell phone to talk with Slaton and others about how to help him with his escape. Slaton is charged with facilitating an escape first-degree and promoting prison contraband second-degree. Her bond is set at $30,000.
Davis was last seen in a gray Reebok hoodie, jeans, a black hat with white inscription and black tennis shoes. Tracking dogs and a helicopter have been called in to search.
The Limestone County Sheriff's Office told WAAY 31 they will be looking into improving security for their work release program. They didn't provide precise details, because right now, their focus is on finding Davis.
Inmates in the work release program are dropped off at CPI. The company supervises them during the day and then inmates are picked up after work.
Keevian Battles lives within a mile of CPI along Highway 127 in Athens, "It's actually very concerning for my safety and everyone else's safety, because you just never know," said Battles.
Davis still being on the run makes him anxious, "If the next person that knocks on your door could be that person, so it's actually kind of scary," said Battles.
Deputies said Davis has been in the Limestone County Jail since June of 2018. He was serving a year-long sentence after pleading guilty to theft.
According to court documents, he's been in and out of jail, including a prison sentence in 2013 for burglary. He served 2 years of a 10-year sentence before being released on probation, "It just makes you feel unsafe, ya know? Because you don't never know. If they don't catch him, you don't know where he's at," said a neighbor of CPI, Shirley Wilson.
Battles likes that Sheriff Blakely will look at improving security for the work release program, "There's always room for adjustment. There's always room to improve," said Battles.
Once the sun went down Monday evening, the sheriff's office shifted their manhunt techniques away from using tracking dogs and the helicopter.
Anyone with information is asked to call 256-232-0111.
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