Inmates escape from jail, caught 3 hours later

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Sheriff: ‘Good, solid police work helped find them’

Two Barry County jail inmates escaped from the jail in the early hours Tuesday morning, but the pair were captured only blocks away about 3 hours after the escape.

Gary Davis, Barry County sheriff, said Mathew Whittenburg, 32, of Aurora, and Charles Stephen Love, 33, of Cassville, escaped at about 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday and were found in a home about eight blocks north of the jail at about 4:20 a.m.

“They did not just walk out the door,” Davis said. “They were there at 1:25 and gone at 1:30.”

Davis said the pair were found in a home, with the residents letting them in. He said he is not aware of any pending charges against the residents.

“We had information they were going that way, and it was good, solid police work that helped find them.”

Davis declined comment on how the escape was made, saying he would rather not publicize details. He said extra charges relating to the escape are pending with the Barry County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I want to thank Cassville PD and all who were involved in finding them,” Davis said. “It was a group effort.”

Whittenburg is being held on two counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child (no sexual conduct), second-degree domestic assault and multiple parole violations and a failure to appear. He was originally jailed on June 24, 2018, and has a $35,000, cash only bond.

Love is being held on charges of first-degree child molestation, tampering with a victim in a felony prosecution, possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released on bond in October 2018 and was found in violation and put back in jail on April 24. He has since been held on no bond.

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