Escaped Prisoner From Cedar County Jail Has Been Recaptured

by Vedette Staff
Milton Sparks Milton Sparks

UPDATE: Milton sparks was found and recaptured Friday, October 13. More information to be added on the details of the capture as it becomes available.

The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office reported last week that prisoner Milton Sparks, 35, had escaped from custody on Thursday, Oct. 4 at 2:47 a.m.

Sparks is 5’10”, weighs about 185 pounds, has dirty blonde hair and blue eyes. The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office does not believe Sparks is still in the area, however. Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary believes someone driving a black Pontiac G6 with dark windows picked up Sparks just hours after his escape. The sheriff says his office has not received any other leads in the case about the whereabouts of the two.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said that Sparks had been previously held in the Lawrence County Jail on charges of first degree armed robbery, armed criminal action, possession of a controlled substance and stealing a motor vehicle. He was transferred to Cedar County in January 2018 due to overcrowding in the Lawrence County Jail and had also spent some time in the Greene County Jail. Cedar County deputies noticed him missing during a routine head count early Thursday morning. Upon review of surveillance footage in the jail, it was confirmed that Sparks had escaped and that he had help from three other inmates who will also face charges.

According to a statement from the Cedar County Sheriff’s Office, the escape was enabled by a design issue at the jail that was never corrected, even after it was pointed out to contractors and commissioners in 2013.

The Cedar County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page currently states, “A clear up some misinformation posted earlier. Yes we have discovered a design flaw, which is a concern. This particular flaw was not expected, but above the cells in B pod there is an over hang that had a thin expanded metal type of barrier to prevent someone from getting out.

"The morning of said escape occurred around 0130 hours whenever another agency arrived for a multi- prisoner transport which at this time Milton Sparks was assisted by 3 other inmates, as our jail staff was assisting the other agency, and in about 20 seconds these inmates assisted Sparks by lifting him up along the wall to gain access to the overhang, which is off camera, and then the expanded metal was bent out of the way exposing the top of the pod where once access was gained above he made his way through the top of the Pods.

"Once this was accomplished Sparks made his way down the backside and gained access to the rear chase where he then had access to the rear doors, and per fire code, these doors do not lock from the inside, and he was able to open the door and flee from the jail: Around 1600 hours it was discovered Sparks was missing and we started contacting local news media and radio stations making them aware of the situation and getting Sparks’ information out to inform our Citizens, as well as contacting the Missouri State Highway Patrol and other agencies for assistance. At this time after numerous follow ups and tips we believe Sparks is in or around the Springfield area due to his past history and numerous contacts in or around that area. Once again, this flaw was not something one would think of being an issue. However, we have learned different, and are taking means to correct this issue as well as seeking charges against the 3 other inmates involved in helping with his escape.”

This is not the first time Sparks has been involved in escape attempts from a jail or correctional facility. Sparks may have had assistance with his escape from persons both inside and outside of the jail.

No one was injured during the escape, however, he should be considered violent and authorities say not to approach him, but to call 911 immediately.

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