Escaped child rapist sat through church service before arrest

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A convicted child rapist who escaped from the Winfield Correctional Facility sat through a church service before authorities took him back into custody.

Robert Terrell, 36, escaped Saturday night and was found at Silverdale Community Church in rural Arkansas City on Sunday. NewsCow reports Dianne Goatley recognized Terrell as she walked into church. 

Goatley stepped out and made a call to 911. It took about 45 minutes for law enforcement to arrive, she said, because the search effort had been focused on the north end of the county, not the south.

Authorities arrived and determined that it would be best to let the service end, rather than rush in with some children and older churchgoers in the building.

Terrell was sitting through the church message, taking communion and singing along, churchgoers told Goatley.

As church members left just before noon, law enforcement did rush in with weapons drawn and took Terrell into custody.

He was currently in prison for violating his parole. Silverdale is about 22 miles south-southeast of the prison.

Previous story:

An inmate escaped from the Winfield Correctional Facility late Saturday night.

Robert Terrell jumped a fence on the west side of the correctional facility around 8:50 p.m. Saturday, Cowley County Emergency Communications said on Facebook.

Terrell, 36, is convicted of raping a child, and he arrived at the prison three days before. He’s approximately 5-foot-5, is 154 pounds, has red/auburn hair and hazel eyes. If you see him, call 911. Do not approach him.

State records show that Terrell was convicted of raping a child younger than 14 years old in 2002. He was sentenced in May 2015. He also failed to register as a sex offender, and he was sentence for that in 2005.

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