Escaped Murderer Found Dead in Ohio River

Bradley Gillespie's fellow escapee was captured in Kentucky last week
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2023 3:20 PM CDT
Escaped Inmate Found Dead in River
This combo made from photos provided by Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction shows from left, Bradley Gillespie and James Lee.   (Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction via AP)

The body of an escaped double murderer was found floating in the Ohio River on Sunday, days after a fellow escapee was recaptured, authorities say. Investigators say the body reported by a boater in Henderson, Kentucky, across the river from Indiana, is likely that of Bradley Gillespie, 50, who escaped from the Allen-Oakwood Correctional Institution in Lima, Ohio, last week, NBC reports. He was sentenced to two consecutive sentences of 15 years to life in 2016 for the murder of a man and woman. Authorities believe Gillespie and fellow inmate James Lee, a 47-year-old safecracker, escaped last Tuesday morning by hiding in a dumpster.

Lee was taken into custody early Wednesday in Henderson, around 350 miles away from Lima, after police pursued a stolen car, the New York Daily News reports. After the car crashed, Gillespie fled on foot. "Today I believe we have closure to our five-day manhunt," Sean McKinney, Henderson's chief of police, said Sunday. McKinney said the level of decomposition suggests Gillespie drowned soon after the manhunt began and his body was submerged in the river for days. Four corrections department employees in Ohio have been placed on leave during the investigation of the escape, reports NBC. (More prison escape stories.)

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