Accused rapist makes escape from area jail

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

KENNETT, Mo. -- Dunklin County authorities are on the hunt for an alleged rapist who escaped from the Dunklin County Justice Center over the weekend.

According to Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder, Dewey Odell Hopper Jr., 42, escaped from custody about 9 p.m. Saturday.

Holder said the inmate made his escape after he crawled under a chain-link fence in the recreation area of the Justice Center and then made his way to another outside area where he was able to get under another chain-link fence around the perimeter of the jail, eluding capture by officers.

Hopper was being held in the Justice Center on charges of rape and tampering with judicial proceedings. He is also a parole absconder from Arkansas, according to Holder.

Past offenses in Missouri and Arkansas include assault, burglary, weapons violations, sex offenses and arson.

The jail uniform Hopper was last seen wearing was found in a tree line in a wooded area near the jail.

Hopper, who is a 6-foot, Caucasian male weighing about 190 pounds, has green eyes, blond hair and may have a goatee. He also has several tattoos, including a large one on the right side of his neck, roses and a heart with the initials B.H. on his right arm, "Patty" and a skull on his left arm and other tattoos on his chest, left hand, left cheek and legs.

Holder said it is believed Hopper will be trying to make his way to Texas. Hopper is listed in court documents as being a resident of Naylor, Mo.

A Missouri Information Analysis Center flier describing Hopper and his escape from custody states individuals should use extreme caution if approaching Hopper, as he is considered to be a dangerous criminal.

Anyone with information on Hopper is asked to contact the Dunklin County Sheriff's Department at 573-888-2409 or 573-888-2424.

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