Kentucky Inmate Escapes After Deadly Tornado & Police Are Still Searching

A massive tornado swept through Kentucky on Friday, claiming the lives of nearly 100 people. An inmate at the Graves County Jail, who was on work release, was able to escape during the devastating event and police are still searching for him.

Francisco ‘Cisco’ Starks, 44, was working at the Mayfield Consumer Products Candle Factory when the deadly tornado ripped through the small town. The building collapsed, leaving Starks and more than 110 people trapped inside the rubble. After he was rescued, Starks and seven other inmates were transferred to Jackson Purchase Medical Center for medical attention. Soon afterward, Starks reportedly walked out of the hospital unnoticed by anyone amid the commotion of patients.

An aerial photo shows the destruction of the Mayfield Consumer Products candle factory after tornadoes moved through the area on Friday night.

The hospital notified the Graves County Jail about the disappearance of Starks around 5pm on December 11. The police are still searching for the inmate who was able to stage a daring escape during a truly tragic event.

Starks was imprisoned at the Graves County Jail and was serving time for third-degree burglary, theft of an automobile, and receiving stolen property. He had received his work release permit last week only, which allowed low-level offenders to get temporary employment at labor jobs. 

The Graves County Jail was also damaged by the tornado leaving more than 83 inmates needing urgent evacuations to other, more secure facilities.

Jailer George Workman noted, “The damage is structurally bad enough that I question it’ll ever be able to open again. I’ve been in law enforcement and corrections since 1986 and I’ve never seen anything like this.”

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