Wisconsin escaped inmates captured at Rockford homeless shelter

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Two men reported to have escaped from a Madison-area correctional facility on Thursday were arrested at a Rockford homeless shelter Friday morning.

According to Rockford Police, James Newman, 37, and Thomas Deering, 46, arrived at Miss Carly’s, a non-profit homeless shelter at 1125 5th Ave, around 8:30 a.m. on Friday morning.

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said the men were recognized by proprietor Carly Rice, and officers called to the scene and took the men into custody without incident.

The Portage, Wisconsin police department had issued a warning to citizens on Thursday, saying the two men escaped from the Columbia Correctional Facility. Portage is located 41 miles north of Madison.

According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, authorities say the pair escaped by climbing over two security fences at 4:35 a.m. The escapees then went to a hotel and were taken by a cab to Poynette, Wisconsin. Investigators say the two already had left the Portage area before authorities were notified of their escape.

Police say Holly Marie Zimdahl, 46, of Pardeeville, was arrested as being party to the crime of escape. Zimdahl was a kitchen worker at the prison, police said.

Photo: Columbia County Sheriff’s Office

Police say Deering was convicted of 3 counts of sexual assault, burglary and kidnapping, and a battery in prison charge.

Newman was convicted of discharging a firearm, escape, kidnapping and theft.

According Carly Rice, “Two men showed up at our door shivering, frozen, (Friday morning) wearing prison issue sweats and thermal shirts. They had emergency blankets stuffed under their clothing. They looked just like the kind of people we want to help….but they weren’t. I recognized them right away. They had escaped from prison in Wisconsin.”

Photo: Miss Carly’s / Facebook

“See, my mom was homeless and she was kidnapped, raped and murdered years ago. So, these guys faces stuck in my memory after seeing their photos and reading about their charges,” Rice said in a Facebook post.


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