Escaped inmate caught in Mohave County after K-9 finds him hiding in chicken coop

Jeremiah Roland Johnson, 33, an escapee from Idaho Falls, Idaho was captured in Mohave County, Ariz., April 20, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Idaho Department of Corrections, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A fugitive who escaped from a minimum security facility in Idaho Falls was arrested in Mohave County Arizona on Tuesday, after his attempt to hide in a chicken coop was foiled by a K-9.

The fugitive, 33-year-old Jeremiah Roland Johnson from Idaho Falls, Idaho, was captured Tuesday afternoon in Mohave County after he walked away from a reentry center in Idaho Falls in January, according to a statement released by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.

The Idaho Falls Reentry Center is run by the Idaho Department of Corrections and houses minimum security inmates who are nearing release. Johnson was incarcerated on drug and eluding charges and had a parole hearing scheduled in November, with a tentative release date in May of next year, according to the Idaho Department of Corrections.

Johnson was last seen on the reentry center’s security cameras at 5:35 p.m. on Jan. 5, wearing blue jeans and a gray shirt just prior to his reported escape.

Officers in Utah became involved when a tip came into the Kane County Sheriff’s Office in Kanab reporting that Johnson was headed toward the Cane Beds area in Arizona and provided a description of the vehicle the suspect was traveling in, information that was forwarded to the Colorado City Marshal’s Office.

Jeremiah Roland Johnson, 33, is captured on surveillance footage at a minimum security facility in Idaho Falls, Idaho where he escaped from before his capture in Mohave County, Ariz., April 20, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Idaho Department of Corrections, St. George News

Officers in Colorado City were staked out on state Route 389 to look for the vehicle Johnson was traveling in to see if the suspect passed through, said Chief Robb Radley with the Colorado City Marshal’s Office.

Once officers spotted a vehicle matching the car the suspect was reportedly traveling in, they followed it to a residence and parked nearby. The officers noticed a couple of people coming out of the home and went to spoke to them. During this time, the suspect reportedly ran out of the back of the residence and took off toward the desert on foot.

Radley said they kept in contact with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office to update deputies that were en route from Littlefield to Colorado City, more than 70 miles away. Officers in Colorado City then started tracking the suspect. Once the Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, they took over the search.

From there, the sheriff’s office deployed K-9 “Brutus.” The dog picked up on Johnson’s tracks and followed the trail to a residence located a half a mile away in Mohave County, where deputies located Johnson who then ran into a chick coop to hide.

The suspect’s efforts to escape were thwarted when the K-9 followed him into the chicken coop and kept him cornered until Johnson surrendered to police.

The apprehension was a combined effort between the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office, the Kane County Sherriff’s Office, the Kanab City Police Department and the Colorado City Marshall’s Office.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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