COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. (WITI) -- The Portage Police Department says a search is underway for two inmates that escaped from the Columbia Correctional Institution Thursday morning, April 16. The inmates have been identified as 37-year-old James Newman and 46-year-old Thomas Deering.
According to officials, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 4:59 a.m. from Columbia Correctional Institution (CCI) reporting that an inmate escaped from the prison. After deputies were on scene, they discovered two inmates had escaped.
The investigation revealed Newman and Deering escaped by climbing over two of the security fences. It was quickly learned that the two escaped prisoners had gone to a local hotel and were picked up by the Portage Cab and transported and dropped off in Poynette, Wisconsin.