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Search continues for 3 inmates who escaped from Wisconsin correctional center

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Officials continue to search for three inmates who escaped from a minimum security correctional facility in western Wisconsin Wednesday night, which prompted schools in the city to close.

The inmates escaped around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday from the St. Croix County Correctional Center – a boot camp-like transitional facility, according to a news release from police.

The New Richmond Police Chief Mark Samelstad told New Richmond News he doesn't believe there is a threat to the community, but officials are urging residents to be alert and report any suspicious behavior to police.

Police identified the men who escaped as:

  • Jesse Jamal Fairley, 25. He is serving time for burglary. He is from St. Croix County and has ties to St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Andre Lee Vance, 20, who is serving time for burglary and operating a motor vehicle without the owner's consent.
  • Kyle John Peterson, 19. He is serving time for forgery and possession of drugs.

They were last seen wearing long underwear tops, long underwear bottoms covered with gray shorts and running shoes, police said.

The manhunt

Police are encouraging individuals to remain alert and report any suspicious persons to police as the search for the inmates continues.

Public safety officials from multiple agencies used K9 teams and two aircrafts to search for the suspects overnight, police say.

Officials are also looking into the report of a stolen car that could be related to the inmates' escape. The car is described as a silver, four-door 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Wisconsin registration 597 LMS.

Information on how the three men escaped or where they may be headed hasn't been released.

The St. Croix Correctional Center is part of Wisconsin's Challenge Incarceration Program – a boot camp-like program that aims to give inmates opportunities to develop life skills they'll need to complete parole/extended supervision, return to the community and remain crime and chemical free, the Wisconsin Department of Corrections notes.

School canceled, after-school activities on

Residents received a call from St. Croix County dispatch overnight telling them the city was in lockdown and people should lock their doors, windows and cars.

This prompted the New Richmond School District to err "on the side of student safety" and cancel school, the district said on its website. However, after school activities will go on as planned, the school said later Thursday.

"Law enforcement has indicated that it is safe for residents to resume normal activities and the school will resume our after school activities in accordance with that press release from law enforcement."

New Richmond is about an hour drive from Minneapolis.

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