Escaped Winfield inmate captured in Butler County

Posted: Updated:
WINFIELD, Kan. (KAKE) -

A man who escaped the Winfield Correctional Facility was apprehended hours after he was spotted hitchhiking in the Butler County town of Douglass.

A deputy spotted 53-year-old Lewis Mitchell just before 11 a.m. on the north side of Douglass. He was hitchhiking without a shirt on, Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet said.

When the deputy tried to approach Mitchell, he ran into a corn field off of Elm Street.

"He did tell the deputy he wouldn't be taken alive -- he wasn't going back to prison," Sheriff Herzet said. "And we have brought in several resources to help in the search."

The sheriff's office did a reverse 911 call to alert Douglass residents and those within a two-mile perimeter. Mitchell stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds. 

KAKE's Chris Frank reported just before 5 p.m. that Mitchell was located and taken into custody. 

Agencies assisting included police departments from Andover and Augusta, U.S. Marshals, Kansas Highway Patrol and the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office. 

Kansas Department of Corrections records state he was serving time for burglary and has prior convictions of burglary, theft and aggravated indecent liberties with a child. His earliest release date prior to escaping was November 7, 2018. 


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Authorities searched Wednesday morning for a "dangerous" inmate who disappeared from the Winfield Correctional Facility.

Lewis Mitchell, 53, vanished sometime after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night. He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds. He was last seen wearing a white state-issued T-shirt, and either blue jeans or gray sweatpants. He might also be wearing a red hoodie.

Mitchell was serving time for burglary from Sedgwick County. His record also includes a child sex crime conviction. Cowley County authorities say he should be considered dangerous. Anyone who sees Mitchell is urged to call 911.

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