On Oct. 4, at about 1:32 a.m. inmate Milton Sparks escaped from the Cedar County Jail. He was able to do this with the assistance of three other inmates who lifted him up to the ceiling area where he was able to push aside a screen and then make his way to an air duct hole in the back wall. From there he made his way along the top of the jail cell area to the back (east side) of the building where he was able to climb down and exit an outer door. This door is not lockable due to fire codes. At 5:15 he was observed by witnesses getting into a black Pontiac G6 with tinted windows and leaving the area. We believe he was taken to the Springfield or possibly Aurora area.

Sparks had been charged with Felony escape from confinement and the three inmates who allegedly assisted him have also been charged with assisting an escape.

Our main focus at this time is to find the escapee with assistance from the US Marshalls fugitive task force, MO State Highway Patrol, Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, Springfield PD and other agencies.

We are also working on fixing the problem at the jail. We have made arrangements for the work to begin on Monday, Oct. 15. It will take approximately one week to repair/fix the issue.

There are other issues, including a delay in discovering the escape that occurred after the escape. When I have all the facts I will release information about those issues.

As Cedar County Sheriff it is my job to make sure the facility is secure. I failed to notice the issue that led to the escape and I take responsibility for the escape. Now that I know about it we are making every effort to correct the problem.

I want to remind everyone that if you see Sparks, do not approach him. Call law enforcement immediately.

Thank you,

Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary

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