Escaped Ohio inmate kills himself in parent's basement, police say
Branden Powell

via WJW

ANTWERP, Ohio -- (WJW) -- A suspected rapist — who escaped last week during a prison transport in Ohio — killed himself Monday, marking the end of an interstate manhunt, police said.

Branden Powell, 32, of Antwerp, Ohio, overpowered a deputy, swiped his gun and broke free from a van Friday, police said. He had been considered “armed and dangerous.”

After a weekend of combing for clues, police located Powell in the basement crawl space of his parent’s home in a rural area of Antwerp on Monday around 6 p.m. They attempted to bring him out.

“However, Powell did not comply with those efforts. Branden Lee Powell chose to take his own life by gunshot at approximately 9:30 pm,” said Paulding County Sheriff’s Jason Landers in a statement.

Local, state and federal authorities, including the FBI and US Marshal Services, had been involved in the search.

“While this is not the outcome law enforcement had hoped for, law enforcement hopes the community can rest knowing this armed and dangerous individual is no longer a danger to the community,” Landers said.

Powell was indicted last month on allegations of first-degree rape, attempted rape and four sexual battery charges, according to an arrest warrant. He was arrested and booked last month.

How he escaped

Powell had cut his throat with a razor and had to be taken to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital in Toledo and admitted for treatment, the sheriff said.

After he was released from the hospital on Friday, Powell was being taken back to jail when the escape occurred.

Powell had been shackled and handcuffed in a van when he was able to maneuver over a row of seats and place a Paulding County deputy in a headlock, Landers said.

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