Escaped killer Harold Benjamin Dean has been tracked to Western Maryland, where authorities detained three of his relatives yesterday.
The FBI believes that Dean, who escaped Saturday from Maryland's "Supermax" prison in Baltimore, crossed into West Virginia earlier this week, and the bureau obtained a warrant Tuesday charging him with interstate flight, Special Agent Andrew S. Manning said.
The search for Dean quickly focused on Western Maryland after his escape from the Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center, the formal name for the state's highest-security prison, which houses 280 of the state's most dangerous convicts. Dean was serving life plus 105 years for a 1981 robbery and murder.
Dean, who was able to squeeze through an 8-inch window at the maximum security prison, was the first inmate to escape from the 2-year-old facility.
"He's from out there, and we had some information that he had actually crossed over into West Virginia from Maryland," Mr. Manning said.
Acting on information that Dean contacted relatives the day of his escape and that they allegedly helped him go to Hampshire County, W.Va., the FBI arrested two of Dean's sisters in the Garrett County town of Ellerslie -- one of whom resides in Hyndman, Pa., and the other in Points, W.Va. They also arrested a nephew who lives in Cumberland, according to news reports.
The three were to be charged with harboring and aiding and abetting a fugitive, but federal and state prosecutors in Baltimore declined to press the case and the two sisters were released. The nephew was detained, however, on an outstanding Allegany County warrant on unrelated charges.