Inmate escapes from Stoddard County courtroom

Thursday, February 16, 2012
Jason Stroup

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A prisoner being held at the Stoddard County Jail escaped custody just before noon Wednesday from a courtroom in the Stoddard County Justice Center.

Jason Stroup, 34, of Puxico, Mo., was at the justice center awaiting his appearance before Judge Stephen Sharp when he apparently walked out of the facility.

Deputies, aided by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Bloomfield and Dexter, Mo., police departments, converged on the Bloomfield area to search for Stroup.

As a precaution, Bloomfield public schools, due to their proximity to the justice center, locked all exterior doors to school buildings.

Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner said Stroup was wearing the traditional orange prisoner outfit, but it is unknown if he has secured a change of clothes.

Hefner said shortly after the escape that authorities have no reason to believe Stroup has left the Bloomfield area.

Stroup was recently sentenced to prison on a forgery charge.

Hefner said that Stroup has no violent history.

"But desperate people do desperate things," he said, cautioning residents not to approach Stroup if they believe they've spotted him.

Any sightings should be reported to the Stoddard County Sheriff's Department at 573-568-4654.

Pertinent address:

Bloomfield, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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