Escaped Ohio inmate kills himself in parent's basement

  • Escaped Ohio inmate kills himself in parent's basement

Escaped Ohio inmate kills himself in parent's basement

Authorities say a rape suspect who overpowered an OH sheriff's deputy to escape a transport van has killed himself during a police standoff, ending a manhunt.

"Efforts were made by law enforcement personnel to successfully and peacefully bring Powell out of the crawl space and place him in custody, however Powell did not comply with those efforts", the sheriff's office said in a news release.

Investigators say Powell had stolen a gun from a deputy he overpowered during a Friday trip from a psychiatric hospital to jail.

Landers told the Progress that Paulding County Deputy Robert Miller had driven to within seven miles north of Paulding when Powell, who was restrained with handcuffs, iron leg shackles and a chain around his waist, scaled multiple seats in the van and put the deputy in a headlock.

The van crashed in a ditch during the scuffle and Powell stole the deputy's handgun.

Branden Powell eluded authorities for three days after his escape during a prison transport. On Friday, Powell was authorized to be released and returned to Paulding County. Powell then got to the deputy's weapon and freed himself before forcing the deputy to handcuff himself to the steering wheel.

As reported by WPTA-TV, the four-day manhunt ended at around 9:30 p.m. Monday after police discovered Powell's body in a crawl space of the basement in his parent's home in Antwerp Township.

The New York Daily News reports that Powell was taken into custody on July 8 on rape and attempted rape and battery charges.

A reward of $2,000 had been offered for anyone who had information about his whereabouts. Powell was sent to Northwest Ohio Psychiatric Hospital on July 13 but was released from there and was returning to jail when he attacked the van driver. He disabled the van and its police radio before fleeing on foot with the gun and extra ammunition. Landers estimates it took 10-15 minutes for Miller to free himself and flag down a passing motorist to call for assistance.

In the wake of being imprisoned, Powell opening his throat in a suicide endeavor and experienced surgery at a doctor's facility, Landers said.

Pete Elliott, US marshal for northern OH, said a fugitive task force was requested by the Paulding County Sheriff's Office to assist in the search for Powell.

The sheriff intends to implement some changes regarding transporting prisoners, including adding barriers separating the front and back of transport vehicles.