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Archive for Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Lansing escape vehicle located

Inmate, dog trainer remain at large

February 15, 2006

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A van used by a woman who apparently helped an inmate escape from Lansing Correctional Facility was found Tuesday not far from the prison - but the missing man and woman have not been located.

Authorities have been looking for inmate John N. Manard, 27, formerly of Edgerton, and Toby Young, 48, of Wyandotte County, since Sunday afternoon, when Young drove a van out of the prison, apparently with Manard hiding in the back.

The van, used by Young for the Safe Harbor Prison Dog program, was found in a storage facility in Bonner Springs, about 10 miles from the prison. Law enforcement officers found the van while acting on a tip received Monday, said Frances Breyne, spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Corrections.

The van was being processed for possible evidence by the Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties sheriff's departments.

"The focus has obviously shifted from finding the vehicle to trying to determine what other vehicle John Manard and Toby Young might be in," said Bill Miskell, Corrections Department spokesman. "We are trying to determine if anyone has sold, rented or leased a vehicle to Toby Young in the last month."

Miskell said all of Young's family vehicles have been accounted for.

He declined to offer any information about the storage facility where the van was found.

Investigators still have no idea where Young and Manard were or which way they may have headed, Breyne said.

"We have no indication of their whereabouts, whether it's in state or out of state or anything like that," she said.

Young used the van to transport dogs from area animal shelters to the prison, where inmates helped rehabilitate them for adoption. Young has run the prison dog program since 2004 and Manard was among the inmates who helped train the dogs.

Young, who is married to a firefighter, was charged Monday with aiding and abetting aggravated escape and aiding a felon. Corrections Department Bill Miskell has refused to say why investigators believe she went willingly.

Manard was serving a life sentence for the 1996 murder of Donald England in Overland Park.

During his 10 years in prison, Manard had been disciplined 18 times, mostly for minor offenses. He hadn't been cited for discipline problems since September 2004, a month after the Safe Harbor program began at the prison.

A $5,000 reward for information leading to Manard's arrest was authorized Tuesday by Secretary of Corrections Roger Werholtz.

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