Hunt for inmate ongoing

Harrison deputies searching for Groff

GROFF

CADIZ — Law enforcement continued to search Monday for a Harrison County Jail inmate who escaped on Saturday night.

According to Harrison County Sheriff Ronald “Joe” Myers, 32-year-old Jason Edward Groff escaped from the jail around 10 p.m. Saturday. Myers said inmates called the corrections officer on duty to come inside regarding a water leak in the back of the facility. Myers said when the corrections officer went right, Groff went left — slipping out a door and proceeding through an open gate. The corrections officer and a trustee had just finished taking the trash out and had left the door slightly ajar.

The sheriff does not believe Groff had any accomplices on the outside that aided him in his escape.

Myers also said a Cadiz Water Department truck went missing on Saturday night following the escape. He said it is possible that there is a connection between the escaped inmate and the missing truck.

The missing truck is a red Ford with a white tailgate, possibly with black writing on the door, and no license plate.

“The key is the truck,” Myers said. “I’m pretty sure it has black lettering on the door and with the white tailgate and no plates, it sticks out.”

The sheriff’s department has entered the vehicle identification number number into the LEADS system.

Myers said he believes Groff is still in the area because he knows local residents and is familiar with the area.

“I think he’s close, in Harrison or Belmont County. He could be further, but I think he’s still in the area,” Myers said.

Groff originally was picked up in Belmont County for driving under suspension and possession of drug paraphernalia, Myers said. Groff is from Barnesville. He now faces additional charges including escape and possibly grand theft.

A tip was received Sunday night but it was for the wrong man, Myers said.

The public is urged to contact the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office with any information on Groff or the missing truck at 740-942-2197.

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