Nine female prisoners sentenced to a minimum-security penitentiary in South Dakota escaped late Monday after learning that a separate prisoner has tested positive for COVID-19.
The escapees bolted the Pierre Community Work Center without authorization by “exiting an exterior door” following the news that one inmate was in isolation after contracting the deadly virus.
Authorities first identified eight escaped inmates, but Governor Kristi Noem later confirmed at a news conference that they were actually nine when asked about the convicts’ exposure to COVID-19, said Fox News, citing a report by KOTA TV.
Noem further added that the women were from the same unit, but officials have yet to confirm if “they were in close proximity to each other.”
Out of the nine escapees, three were captured Tuesday, said NBC News.