U.S. Marshals are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the capture of dangerous sex offender, John Freeman Colt, who escaped from the Larned State Hospital (LSH) on June 30, 2021.
John Freeman Colt, 42, was sentenced on Dec. 14, 2001, to five years in state prison for aggravated sexual battery, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, and four counts of aggravated battery against law enforcement. He was required to register as a sexual offender for the remainder of his life.
After Colt’s criminal sentence was completed, the State of Kansas courts deemed him a Sexually Violent Predator at high risk to commit a future sex offense and too dangerous to be released. He was indefinitely civilly committed and sent to the Larned State Hospital’s Sexual Predator Treatment Program in 2007, where he has resided until the escape.
Investigators believe Colt planned his escape several months in advance, obtaining a replica of staff ID badge, reading “C JONES” and dress clothes.
The morning of his escape he shaved off his long hair and beard. He put blankets under his bed covers making it appear he was still in bed sleeping.
Colt was then able to falsely convince a new staff worker, that he specifically targeted, that he was in fact a new doctor and needed help finding his way out. Posing as a doctor, Colt was able to make his way past five secured doors and ultimately outside the gates.
A timeline presented by Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King in July 2021, specified John Freeman Colt walked out of LSH at approximately 7:08 a.m. in his disguise.
Several hours passed before staff noticed Colt was missing. More time passed before LSH alerted the Pawnee County Sheriff’s Office, along with dispatch and Larned Police Department that Colt had escaped.
Law enforcement was not notified until 12:47 p.m.
The delay has been harshly observed by citizens and other law enforcement, specifically towards the Larned State Hospital and the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
“I would go further to say the lack of cooperation plus a five and a half hour delay delay due to sheer incompetence has placed the citizens of Kansas at risk. I understand escapes happen, I could have an escape from my jail today, but it is how the incident is handled in the immediate aftermath that makes all the difference,” said Barton County Sheriff Brian Bellendir on the Barton County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page on July 13. “Drastic changes are needed at LSH.
“The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services should not be in charge of holding violent sexual predators. A change of culture is desperately needed.”
After escaping, Colt received a ride from a local farmer into the town of Scott City, where he was last seen leaving a hardware store on a motorcycle he’d purchased prior to his escape with the help of an accomplice.
While John Freeman Colt’s whereabouts are currently unknown, U.S. Marshal stated in a press release, he may be traveling or camping in or around state or national parks throughout Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas or Utah.
“John Colt presents a clear threat to the community every day he is not in custody,” said U.S. Marshal for the District of Kansas Ronald Miller. “He has been deemed a sexual predator, and the U.S. Marshals consider his escape a major case and are devoting all available resources to his capture.”
Pawnee County Sheriff Scott King said, “It has always been priority one to keep a clear line of communication, so no information or leads are lost in the search for the fugitive. We have had a great relationship with the U.S. Marshals Service, and everyone is working together to bring this individual back where he is supposed to be.”
John Freeman Colt stands 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighs approximately 200 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He has a tattoo of a heart with the letters BH on his left arm.
Colt should be considered dangerous. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts is urged to contact local law enforcement, the USMS at 1-877-WANTED2 or send information to the U.S. Marshals via the USMS Tips app.