Lansing Was it love that paired Toby Young, a dedicated prison volunteer, with John M. Manard, a convicted murderer sentenced to life at the Lansing Correctional Facility?
Manard escaped Feb. 12 from prison, and authorities say Young was his accomplice. Friday, after eluding authorities for nearly two weeks, they were captured after being spotted in Chattanooga, Tenn.
But their capture hasn't shed more light on their relationship.
"We have no idea if they were in love or not," said Bill Miskell, a spokesman for the Kansas Department of Corrections. "We know that she was the president of the Safe Harbor Prison Dog program. We know that John Manard was one of 60, 70, 80, 90 inmate dog handlers here at the Lansing Correctional Facility. Beyond that, what the nature of their relationship was, we don't know."
At the time of his capture, Manard told authorities Young was his hostage, said Ray Stewart, a deputy U.S. Marshal.
But the pronouncement doesn't ring true, Stewart and Miskell said at a news conference Saturday in Lansing.
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"Manard made a comment that she was being held hostage from what I understand," Stewart said, "but as my partner here said, that probably could be the furthest from the truth knowing what we know now."
Added Miskell, "It has been clear from very early on in this investigation that Toby Young was involved in planning this escape. She withdrew a substantial amount of cash. She took two handguns from her home. She obtained this white, 1997 Chevy Silverado extended cab pickup truck. She rented a storage locker in Bonner Springs. And she was an active participant in this escape."
Stewart said he wasn't surprised by the case, which paired a 48-year-old married, cancer-surviving mother of two with a man 21 years her junior. Manard is serving a life sentence for a 1996 carjacking in which a 45-year-old man who had brain cancer was killed.
"I'm never really shocked at what some people will do," Stewart said. "I guess, you know, people never cease to amaze every day at the lengths they'll go to to do some things.
"I don't know what gets into people's minds; I'm just glad it ended with nobody getting hurt."
Young's husband, Pat, a firefighter who lives in the Piper district of Kansas City, issued a faxed statement Saturday after the capture.
"These circumstances, to my children and me, are a very private and personal matter. I want to assure you that no matter what may come of this, it will remain a private and personal matter," he said.
Miskell said corrections officials would compile a comprehensive review on the escape and issue a public report once the review was completed.
"Will that report answer all of the questions in everyone's mind?" Miskell said. "Probably not. We may never know exactly what the nature of the relationship between Toby Young and John Manard was or how it developed."