Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2006

Inmate, cohort described as armed, dangerous

Prison officials say murderer escaped by hiding in dog crate

February 16, 2006


— A murderer who escaped here and the prison volunteer who helped orchestrate the break-out have pistols, plenty of cash and might be driving a blue Chevrolet sport utility vehicle.

Or so believe prison officials who Wednesday revealed new information about the escape from the Lansing Correctional Facility and their so-far fruitless hunt for the escaped killer and his accused accomplice.

John M. Manard, a 27-year-old serving a life term for the 1996 slaying of a Johnson County man in a carjacking, was discovered gone from the prison Sunday. Authorities believe he was hiding in a dog crate in the Safe Harbor Prison Dogs van when it left the prison.

Driving the van, they say, was Toby Young, the 48-year-old president and founder of the Safe Harbor program.

Manard and Young are still at large, and both are described as armed and dangerous.

At a news conference Wednesday at the prison, Bill Miskell, of the Kansas Department of Corrections, pleaded for the public's help getting information about a 1998-2000 gunpowder blue Chevy SUV that Young was seen in recently.

"That may be a vehicle in which she and John Manard are traveling," Miskell said.


Prison and law enforcement officials are looking for a 1998-2000 gunpowder blue Chevy SUV. John M. Manard, 27, is white, 6 feet 2 inches tall, 190 pounds, with red or auburn hair and hazel eyes. Toby Young, 48, is white, 5 feet 1 inch tall, 130 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. Contact local law enforcement or Lansing Correctional Facility with information regarding the suspects or their vehicle.

Anyone who sold, loaned or gave the vehicle or knows of anyone selling a vehicle matching the description recently is asked to contact local law enforcement or Lansing Correctional Facility.

"That vehicle may be the next key in our investigation of the escape of John Manard," Miskell said.

Detailed planning

He also said videotape taken last week at a Kansas City-area store showed Young purchasing black hair dye and an electric razor "in an effort to alter either John Maynard's appearance or her appearance following the escape."

Miskell would not identify the store.

He said it was obvious Young was deeply involved in the plan to spring Manard, though he said prison officials still don't know why - whether it was because of a romance or for some other reason.

"I don't have any idea how far back the planning process went, but it's obvious from the information we have been able to develop and confirm so far that this was a well-planned effort on her part to assist in the escape of John Manard," Miskell said.

A warrant charging Young with aiding and abetting aggravated escape and aiding a felon was issued Monday by Leavenworth County Atty. Frank Kohl.

The Safe Harbor van was found Tuesday in a storage shed in Bonner Springs.

Investigators found more clues implicating Young at her home in Piper.

Authorities on Wednesday confirmed two semi-automatic handguns were missing from Young's home, a black 9 mm Glock and a silver AMT 0.380. Authorities also believe Young had a substantial amount of cash, in excess of $10,000.

Young's husband, Pat, a firefighter, declined an interview request Tuesday.

"I'm not physically or emotionally able to comment at this time," he said.

Inside help

Authorities believe Toby Young pulled off the brazen escape with the help of other inmates and the trust of guards who knew her as the head of the Safe Harbor program, which she had run since 2004.

Like dozens of Lansing's prisoners, Manard had participated in Young's program, which saved dogs from death at animal shelters by having inmates train them to make them suitable for adoption.

Seven inmates apparently involved in moving the crate carrying Manard have been placed on administrative segregation, confined to their cells for all but one hour most days, said Corrections Department spokeswoman Frances Breyne.

Miskell said two guards at the prison gates as Young left failed to adhere to protocol that calls for every van door to be opened and every crate to be searched.

"It's obvious these procedures were not followed," Miskell said. "It appears that her familiarity with the staff may have played a part in her ability to help John Manard escape."

Miskell would not comment about possible discipline of guards. He said authorities were concerned for Young's safety and for the safety of anyone who might encounter the two.

"We have no way of knowing what may have been or currently is in John Manard's mind," Miskell said.

The 27-year-old inmate was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and possession of firearms in the 1996 killing of Donald England in Overland Park. Manard is white, about 6 foot 2 inches, 190 pounds, with red or auburn hair and hazel eyes.

Young, 48, is white, about 5 foot 1 inch and 130 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. She has been charged with aiding and abetting aggravated escape and aiding a felon.

Though Young is married and has children, authorities believe her family was clueless about her plans. They said they are certain Young knew Manard was in the crate.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


formerfarmer 12 years, 1 month ago

I hope both are caught and severely dealt with. My concern is she has probably destroyed a very good program that saved many dogs from being destroyed. I hope the state will let someone else run the program and it will not be cut out.

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I'd be more inclined to say, "Maybe they should get stricter about enforcement of their safety procedures."

Someone botched the checks when the van was leaving. No matter who it is, even if it's your best friend from high school or your mom, you search a vehicle leaving a prison according to procedure.

I hope they're captured soon and no one is harmed.

Of course, if this were an action movie, he'd have been wrongly accused and set up by a crooked judge/prosecutor/cop, and she'd have been breaking him out in an incredibly daring maneuver because he was the only one who could prevent the attack on the Liberty Bell. There would already have been one high-speed chase (if they had it in Lawrence, they could have used roundabouts for dramatic tension), foiled by an unwitting citizen pulling his balloon-covered SUV out into traffic, talking on his cell phone.

City ordinances aren't to keep the people of Lawrence safe. They're to prevent action movies from breaking out.

Centrist 12 years, 1 month ago

The best way to pull chicks is to go to jail, it would seem .. here is yet another case of a woman helping or being with an inmate. Come on ladies!!!

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

Action movies...great post badger. But where do the fruitcakes fit in?

RonBurgandy 12 years, 1 month ago

centrist - if you are willing to take the good with the bad right? A coed relationship might not be the only kind of relationship you are getting...

badger 12 years, 1 month ago

I keep seeing the title of this article and musing on the fact that not enough people use the word 'cohort' these days.

Way to go LJ!

bearded_gnome 12 years, 1 month ago

they'd use fruitcakes to stop the bullets!

"okay, barney, now you can put your bullet into your gun!" said by Andy.

poor hubby. hope he gets tested for STD's.

yes, a noble program. dogs are a special gift to us all. to us and when dogs and inmamtes[inmates] can both be saved, that's wonderful.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.