Escaped inmate eludes authorities again after second manhunt

Published: Feb. 1, 2012 at 9:56 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2012 at 3:29 PM EST
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SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Deputies have expanded their search area while trying to catch an escaped inmate who has been on the loose for a week.

Authorities say 39-year-old James Sanders was last spotted Wednesday afternoon in the area of Sangaree Parkway. After hours of searching, Sanders is still on the run.

When witnesses reported seeing Sanders in two locations, near Farmington Road and near Sangaree Parkway, law enforcement officers got to work. Investigators with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office and the Charleston County Sheriff's Office are involved in the search. A helicopter is also being used.

"We've got a perimeter set up," said Dan Moon, spokesman for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. "We're going through all the areas."

With more than a handful of subdivisions along Sangaree Parkway, deputies say they have their work cut out for them.

"It's a little difficult when you've got all these fences to climb, but by the same token someone trying to evade us has to do the same thing," Moon said.

According to witnesses, Sanders has changed his appearance. Witnesses say he has a shaved goatee, gray hoodie with a red shirt underneath and wearing jeans.

People living nearby say the car searches, police lights and talk of Sanders' violent past has them on edge.

"Sometimes I'm home with my infant baby and I don't want a prisoner running around loose," one resident said.

For this new Mom, her normal routine will involve a little more caution.

"Probably get my husband to look around the yard and I won't be by myself tomorrow," she said.

Deputies say that despite his record of criminal domestic violence, Sanders is not a danger to the public.

This is the second time Sanders has slipped by police. Last Thursday, deputies searched for hours in Moncks Corner when he escaped from the Hill Finklea Detention Center. Sanders was being held on criminal domestic violence charges when he escaped.

Berkeley County officials say officers were getting ready to release Sanders after his bond hearing, but noticed he had more charges still pending against him.

While Sanders was in the holding area, he slipped out an employee door without any one noticing, investigators say. The search in Moncks Corner stopped when deputies received a tip that Sanders caught a ride to downtown Charleston.

Copyright WCSC 2012. All rights reserved.