January 23, 2019
Contact: FDC Communications
Escape Alert – Okeechobee Correctional Institution
UPDATE January 24, 9:29 A.M.: ESCAPED INMATE HAS BEEN CAPTURED
Inmate escaped while working on his outside work squad assignment at Okeechobee CI.
On the afternoon of Thursday, January 23, FDC security staff at Okeechobee Correctional Institution Work Camp (3420 N.E. 168th Street, Okeechobee, Florida) discovered that an inmate had escaped while working on his outside work squad assignment. An immediate lockdown and full count of the facility was conducted, and one inmate was discovered missing from his assigned location, along with an FDC vehicle.
FDC has contacted all state and local law enforcement officials and are coordinating a large-scale search effort focusing on highways and roads in the multi-county region. If anyone sees the escaped inmate, do not approach and call 911 immediately. Residents and motorists within the area (Okeechobee, Indian River, Saint Lucie, Highlands, Polk, Osceola, Brevard) may see additional law enforcement presence, including helicopters, while every effort is made to recapture this inmate. Residents should exercise caution.
The Florida Department of Corrections’ number one priority is public safety. Escapes are extremely rare. The Department is committed to ensuring all inmates are supervised appropriately and security protocols at all facilities are followed to prevent escapes. This is still an active situation.
Escaped inmate: Timothy L. Howton-McLaughlin, #K85816
Inmate Howton-McLaughlin is a white male, 28 years old (DOB 06/02/1991), with green eyes and short brown hair. He is 5’ 09”, 150 pounds, athletic build. He has tattoos on his stomach. He is currently serving an eight-year prison sentence for trafficking in stolen property and burglary. The inmate is suspected to be driving a 1995 white Ford F-150 pickup truck with a black pipe rack over the bed and cab, license plate DC7636.
As additional information becomes available, FDC will provide updates to the public.
Interested individuals and media can also receive updates via the Department’s social media channels at:https://www.facebook.com/FLCorrections/ https://twitter.com/FL_Corrections
A full investigation and review of Department procedures will occur immediately following the recapture of this inmate to ensure that proper protocols were followed and identify any deficiencies for correction to ensure that this does not happen again.
As Florida's largest state agency, and the third largest state prison system in the country, FDC employs 24,000 members, incarcerates 80,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.