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Pennsylvania Detainee Found Four Months After Jail Escape, Five Guards Fired

Almost four months after escaping Blair County Prison, jail detainee Isaiah Tilghman, 33, was arrested on March 22, 2024, while headed into a Planet Fitness gym near Philadelphia, over 200 miles from the western Pennsylvania lockup he fled on December 3, 2023.

Meeting on March 12, 2024, Blair County commissioners fired five guards at the jail for failures they blamed for Tilghman’s escape. A sixth guard was also terminated for unrelated reasons. Commissioner David Kessling said that the unnamed guards’ failure to follow jail policies and procedures allowed the escape or at least prevented it from being discovered sooner.

Tilghman allegedly fashioned a rope from jail-issued clothing and used it to climb through a ventilation shaft to an unsecured window opening onto a roof. From there he jumped to freedom. Guards logged him in his cell at 7:45 a.m. the same day, but he had already been recorded hours earlier on surveillance video stealing a truck nearby. U.S. Marshals tracked the truck 12 days later to Philadelphia, where it had been abandoned. But Tilghman wasn’t apprehended for more than three months after that.

He has now returned to Blair County to face his original charges: possessing $100,000 worth of fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine. Felony escape and flight charges added after his breakout are also pending.  


Sources: Altoona Mirror, WCAU

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