Sheriff blames budget cuts for murderer’s escape, says girl wasn’t with fugitive

KANKAKEE (AP) — The sheriff overseeing a manhunt for an escaped convict from Kankakee says a 15-year-old girl reported missing around the same time was not with the man, as was initially feared.

Kankakee police officers located the girl Wednesday afternoon and canceled a missing person alert that had been issued.
Kankakee County Sheriff Timothy Bukowski told reporters Thursday that it was merely coincidental that she was reported missing from the same area where the convict abandoned his getaway car.
He says officers interviewed the girl and are confident she was never with the fugitive.
Bukowski said that authorities believe someone in the community is aiding Kamron T. Taylor, who beat a guard unconscious during his escape Wednesday.
He warned that anyone helping conceal him would be prosecuted.
Bukowski is linking Taylor’s escape to recent budget and staffing cuts at the jail where he was awaiting sentencing.
Bukowski told reporters Thursday that the Jerome Combs Detention Center has lost between 15 and 20 percent of staff.
He said inmates notice that and can see that guards working double shifts are tired.
Bukowski said that was among the factors that contributed to Wednesday’s escape.