Inquiry seeks source of fugitive's tools

August 19, 1994|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,Sun Staff Writer

The director of the Patuxent Institution has launched an investigation aided by the state police to determine how an inmate got his hands on the tools to cut through steel bars and a security fence, and why the escape Wednesday went unnoticed by corrections officers.

"I will track it down no matter what it takes," vowed Joseph Henneberry, director of the maximum security prison in Jessup.

State police are leading the search for the fugitive, Kevin Siler, 31, who pulled off a similar escape in 1989. His last address was in the 400 block of Woodhaven Road in Baltimore.

Siler was missing during a head count ordered after corrections officers spotted the window bars missing from his cell about JTC noon Wednesday. Mr. Henneberry and other state prison officials declined to say when Siler was last accounted for inside the prison.

According to Mr. Henneberry, Siler made cuts on the top and bottom of two steel bars on the window of his cell that allowed him to push the bars out. Investigators have not located the tool used, but believe it would have had to have been what's known as a "miracle hacksaw," an expensive device that can saw through steel and other metals.

Siler squeezed his 6-foot 1-inch, 180-pound frame through the hole in the window and jumped about two floors into a grassy courtyard.

He scaled a wall surrounding the yard, then used a pair of common pliers to cut a hole in one of two security fences. The pliers, found by investigators, did not come from the prison's tool stock, which are color coded, said Mr. Henneberry.

After cutting through two fences, Siler scaled a 15-foot perimeter fence that is lined on the top with barbed wire. He made his getaway along the back of the prison, which borders a woods that separates the prison property from a residential neighborhood, Mr. Henneberry said.

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