Friday leads into escapees turns up nothing

By  | 

VERNON COUNTY, Wis (WEAU) - Activity Friday in the ongoing search for two escapees from the Black River Correctional Facility.

18-year-old James C. Misleveck and 29-year-old James R. Newman are still on the loose.

Friday afternoon, deputies checked on a call from a concerned citizen.

The caller said they saw a black Chrysler Concorde that might have matched the description of the car police were looking for. A partial plate matched, but the entire plate couldn't be seen.

Hillsoboro PD, along with Vernon County, Sauk County and Juneau County scrambled cruisers to the area.

At 1:15pm, a caller who says he knows one of the escapees thought he saw him in a car with a passenger. The car was a blue Toyota, possibly a Tercel.

Investigators thought the men might have ditched one car for the other.

However, no Toyota has been reported stolen so far.

Police and deputies searched every street in Hillsboro. They found nothing. Then they fanned out to area townships and found nothing.

Late Friday afternoon they were contacting friends and acquaintances of Misleveck who lived in the area.

Police said there was no immediate danger for area neighbors.

Officers do request you keep an eye out for the men.


Juneau Co., Wis - (WEAU)

Also on Friday we learned the search stretched into Juneau County.
Officers were searching the Valley Inn located on State Highway 80/82 as several eye witnesses reported seeing the vehicle in Elroy as well.

As of Friday night, the Juneau County Sheriff's Department says the two are still believed to be in a stolen black Chrysler Concorde, with Wisconsin plates of 728-TDX.

Stay with for the latest on this developing story.

MONROE COUNTY, Wis (WEAU) - An area sheriff says the FBI is now involved in the case of two escaped prison inmates.

Jackson County Sheriff Duane Waldera says the case is now big and complicated enough that the FBI has become involved. Waldera says the FBI will speak with his investigators tomorrow.

18-year-old James C. Misleveck and 29-year-old James R. Newman are still on the loose. Investigators now say they have stolen another car early Thursday morning.

When James Shepherd of Wilton woke up Thursday morning he noticed his car was gone.

“Right away I assumed because everyone was saying how close they were to us,” said Shepherd.

The prisoners ditched their stolen truck not even a mile away from Shepherd’s house. But even the news of fugitives on the loose wasn’t enough to break his old habit.

“I got home late last night from work and I was exhausted and I didn’t think. Since I’ve had my license I don’t think I’ve taken the keys out of my car,” said Shepherd.

The 1996 black Chrysler concord is still missing.

“We are trying to find it, it might be abandoned, these guys aren’t going to keep the car,” said Monroe County Sheriff, Pete Quirin.

“I got some stuff in there, I hope I see it again,” said Shepherd.

The police don’t know if the prisoners went north or south from Shepherd’s home but they do suspect they will be looking for family that lives in Wisconsin.

“Since one had family in the Mauston area they could be in that area,” said Sheriff Quirin.

Officers say the suspects took 3 cars and a shotgun Wednesday, and carjacked a woman taking her from Black River Falls to Sparta. They let her go unharmed. Then they led officers on a chase to Tomah, the Sheriff Quirin says it was frustrating not to catch them.

“The officers are disappointed. They were within grabbing range. The State and Monroe county were right behind them. I wish there were some things that could’ve happened a little faster," said Sheriff Quirin.
BLACK RIVER FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – The Ho-Chunk Nation says the woman that got carjacked and kidnapped was a casino employee.

It says Deb Lozano had just arrived at Ho-Chunk Gaming-Black River Falls on Wednesday afternoon when 18-year-old James C. Misleveck and 29-year-old James R. Newman, who were armed, forced her into the backseat of her car. It says the men held her captive for approximately 6 hours.

It says the men got out of her car in Sparta and then took a different vehicle. Lozano was unharmed.

The Nation says the experience left Lozano shaken, but she says she is “glad that it was me and not anyone else.” Lozano also says she hopes officers are able to catch the men as soon as possible and no one gets hurt.
TOMAH, Wis. (WEAU) - It's been a day full of twists and turns in both Jackson and Monroe counties.

All of it started when the Jackson County Sheriff's Department got a report of two prisoners that literally walked out the front door of the minimum security Black River Correctional Center. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department said it happened sometime around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday night.

Then, on Wednesday morning police got a call about a shotgun stolen from a truck in Black River Falls around 6:00 a.m.

The day's events would take a bigger turn when a woman was carjacked at a Black River Falls casino. The suspects took her and the car to Sparta. Once there, they let her go unharmed and took another car.

Police chased the prisoners back to Tomah where they got away on foot.

At this point, police have some direction, but no concrete leads.

"We've got a rectangle quartered off," said Monroe County Sheriff Pete Quirin. "We think they're there but it's hard to tell since there's been nothing to indicate they're in that area, other than they abandoned their truck in that area," he added.

Police patrolled and searched the area this afternoon, looking for both prisoners. But Sheriff Quirin says by the time they got enough officers to the area, the men could have made a bigger move.

"You know they could well be out of the area, I know one of them lives in Mauston so maybe they're headed that way," Sheriff Quirin said.

On Wednesday night, Sheriff Quirin urged people living in eastern Monroe County to look their doors and be cautious. He says if both men are on foot near Tomah, their possibilities are limited.

"If these guys are gonna try and get out of here, they're either gonna try and steal a car or take a hostage like they did this morning, so that potential still exists," Sheriff Quirin said.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department has identified the prisoners as 18-year-old James C. Misleveck and 29-year-old James R. Newman.

Misleveck is described as a white male that is six feet tall, 200 pounds, and has brown hair and brown eyes.

Newman is described as a white male that is five feet 9 inches weighing 165 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Both were last seen wearing tan t-shirts, grey shorts and tennis shoes.


Tomah, Wis. (WEAU) - Officers are going to homes near I-90 in Tomah looking for the suspects and are using dogs to track the men. The Monroe County Sheriff tells our crew on the scene says there are more than 30 officers looking for the escapees on hundreds of acres of farmland.

The officers say people on the east side of the Monroe County should lock their doors and be cautious until these suspects are back in custody. Officers say they are stopping cars in the area around the Tomah State Patrol Post and are watching for any more reports of stolen cars.

Deputies say the inmates carjacked a woman near the casino in Black River Falls and took her in the car to the Sparta area where she was released unharmed. Deputies say the suspects took another car in that area and led officers on a chase to the Tomah area. Deputies tell us they are now on foot to the best of their knowledge. There's no word on if the suspects still have the shotgun they stole earlier today.