Pawnee County law enforcement officials were notified at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 27, of Larned State Hospital (LSH), Larned, Kan. escapee John Freeman Colt, 42, arrest in Wayne County, Utah.
Colt was arrested on a Pawnee County Kansas Warrant issued July 1, as a result of his June 30, escape from the Sexual Predator Treatment program located on the campus of LSH.
According to a Wayne County Sheriff press release, Sheriff Dan Jensen received information from a citizen in Wayne County who saw Colt’s wanted poster on the news Monday evening.
This citizen stated a man resembling Colt had been using the name Jason Holt and had been camping in the Torrey area since early August. The citizen gave Sheriff Jensen the location to Colt’s campsite.
Sheriff Dan Jensen contacted Sevier County Sheriff’s Office who sent three detectives to assist in locating and apprehending Colt. Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue members were also called out to assist in gaining access to Colt’s campsite.
Utah Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau was also contacted for aerial surveillance of the campsite area.
As Sheriff Jensen and sheriff’s deputies were staging a few miles from Colt’s campsite, they saw Colt drive by on a blue motorcycle pictured in his wanted pictures provided by U.S. Marshals, and gave chase, reaching speeds up to 100 mph for a couple of miles.
Deputy Micah Gulley was able to get ahead of Colt in his police vehicle ending the chase.
Colt was taken into custody, with the assistance of Sevier County detectives, without incident. He confirmed his identity, and the Sheriff confirmed the motorcycle VIN in the National Crime Information Center.
Colt is being detained in Sevier County Jail in Utah pending his return to Kansas. He is currently charged with Aggravated Escape from Custody, a severity level 8 non-person felony.
At the time of his escape, he was subject to the Kansas Offender Registration Act.
“The initial Complaint and Warrant was issued at the early stages of the investigation to provide jurisdiction to law enforcement agencies across the nation to hold Colt once he was discovered and captured. Given the interstate element of this case, we will now reevaluate that charge and coordinate with the US Attorney’s Office to determine the best charging strategy to meet the needs of justice and the long-term safety concerns of the public,” stated Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett in a press release on his Facebook page. “On behalf of the citizens of Pawnee County, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our local law enforcement agencies, and to all the agencies that responded and offered assistance in the wake of Colt’s escape, and for their unwavering dedication shown in the months since.”
Particular thanks to (Pawnee County) Sheriff Scott King for his passion and no stone left unturned attitude, to the expertise provided by the US Marsal’s Service, and to the supportive citizens in Wayne County Utah. Because of their collective efforts America can sleep a little easier tonight knowing this convicted sexual predator is behind bars.”
According to McNett, Sheriff King assigned a deputy to work with the Marshal’s Service from the beginning.
The U.S. Marshals communicated in earlier press releases, Colt may have received help from one or multiple accomplices. This is an ongoing investigation and anyone having information related to Colt’s escape or subsequent period on the run is encouraged to contact law enforcement.
Under Kansas law, it is a person felony crime to knowingly harbor, conceal or aid any person subject to the Kansas Offender Registration Act to avoid or escape registration or arrest, and carries a presumptive prison sentence between 31 months and 136 months in the custody of the Kansas Department of Corrections depending on the individual’s criminal history.
The U.S. Marshals elevated Colt’s escape to major case status Sept. 20 and had offered up to $10,000 as reward for information leading to Colt’s arrest.
The USMS will continue to collect information and work with Utah USMS to start a failure to register case on him.
As the lead federal agency for sex offender violations following passage of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the USMS has the primary responsibility of assisting state, local, tribal, and territorial authorities in the location and apprehension of noncompliant and fugitive sex offenders, as well as investigating violations of the act for federal prosecution.
“Effective law enforcement in the United States today is enhanced by citizens willing to report what they see,” said U.S. Marshal for the District of Kansas Ronald Miller. “That occurred in this case and resulted in a violent predator being recaptured.”
While the locate and capture aspect of this operation is complete, the follow-up investigation in ongoing. The assigned Pawnee County deputy will continue coordinating with the Marshal Service until the completion of the investigation.
“My office intends to prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all individuals shown to have aided or assisted in the escape of this dangerous individual and subsequent evasion of law enforcement,” added McNett.
Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said, “I would like to thank the U.S. Marshals Service, along with everyone involved in the hunt for Colt, and especially the Wayne County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office for their apprehension of the dangerous fugitive.”
Arrangements are being made for Colt’s extradition back to Kansas.
This story is developing.
The Pawnee County Attorney revealed on Sept. 28 authorities have captured dangerous sexual predator, John Freeman Colt, who escaped from Larned State Hospital in June.
It was reported in Salt Lake City that Colt was apprehended Monday night in Wayne County, Utah.
Pawnee County Attorney Douglas McNett said a formal news release on the capture of 42-year-old John Freeman Colt would be distributed later that Tuesday.
He posted an image of Colt with the word “captured.”
“I would encourage everyone to avoid speculating on social media as to the details at this time,” said McNett.
Click the links below to read the events leading up to this news break.