New information reveals connection between jail escapee and missing Moulton teen

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office tells WAAY 31 the two video chatted through an app called Jail Funds,

Posted: Nov 5, 2019 7:37 PM
Updated: Nov 6, 2019 8:24 AM

The Morgan County Sheriff's Office tells WAAY 31 16-year-old Peyton Ledlow had communicated with Kaleb Gillespie through video chat while he was in jail.

Hoover Police arrested the two early Monday morning, 8 days after they'd been reported on the run.

The Sheriff's Office is saying the two communicated on an app called Jail Funds, where they video chatted. Since Ledlow is a minor, she would need an adult to communicate with Gillespie at the jail. But through the app, all she needed to do was plug in information about herself, like her date of birth and drivers license information, and she could video chat with a sex offender in the jail.

Peyton Ledlow and escaped inmate John Kaleb Gillespie were found early morning in a hotel parking lot, in what Hoover police called a suspicious car. Police say Gillespie led them on a pursuit on I-459, where he car crashed and both took off. Police quickly arrested Ledlow and charged her with resisting arrest.

They later found Gillespie behind an industrial complex.

Ledlow is from Moulton. Police there say the two were found in a 2008 white Ford Focus, the same car Ledlow drives. Hoover police confirm the make and model but we don't know if Ledlow picked up Gillespie, after his escape.

WAAY 31 spoke with one man who was serving time in the Morgan County Jail when Gillespie escaped. He tells me he was shocked Gillespie was able to battle through the razor wire in the courtyard and jump a 30 foot wall.

"I went out onto the yard for a smoke break and I was looking up there, there's like a support beam that holds the razor wire up there and i was like that must have been how he got over there", says Damion Najera.

Now, the Sheriff's Office is trying to figure out how the two knew each other and were able to connect.

They are also telling us Kaleb Gillespie had just been told he would soon be sent to prison, for violating probation on a rape charge, which could be a reason why he escaped.

Najera tells me it took officers awhile to realize Kaleb Gillespie was missing from the jail, but he says they've already made changes.

"They added some new razor wire at the top and they....I'm assuming they're more strict on the cameras now since he was gone for hours before they noticed", he explains.

The Morgan County Sheriff's office tells us Gillespie exposed a flaw in their jail design, they're now working to correct and new features are on the way.

“We’re working with third party vendors to put possible solutions together to correct that. Whether it’s additional fencing, a change to the amount of razor wire currently installed and we’re gonna see what they come to the table with that allows us to fix that area", says Mike Swafford, the spokeperson for the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.

But Najera who was just released from jail 4 days ago, tells us adding this type of fencing to the top of the courtyard may be unnecessary.

"I don't think it's necessary really cause i think with the razor wire...They have it so closely compressed that if you can get through there, you deserve to be out," says Najera.

“The Morgan County Jail has an excellent track record of being a secure facility we’re gonna continue that. But in order to correct that we’re gonna have to fix this loop hole this inmate was able to exploit,“ adds Swafford.

Investigators tell us at least one inmate helped Gillespie escape and additional arrests could be made if anyone else helped.

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