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13-year-old charged with murder has escaped custody in North Carolina

Posted at 11:48 AM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 11:48:04-05

North Carolina authorities are looking for Jericho W., who they say escaped Tuesday from a building where juvenile court hearings are held.

Police say they’re looking for a 13-year-old murder suspect who escaped from officers following a court appearance in the North Carolina city of Lumberton on Tuesday, officials said.

The boy, identified by state authorities only as Jericho W., fled around noon from a Department of Social Services building where juvenile court hearings are held, the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office said.

He was in court to face two counts of first-degree murder and a charge of robbery with a dangerous weapon, the sheriff’s office said. Several law enforcement agencies are looking for him, including by air with the help of helicopters, authorities said.

Authorities have “a high degree of concern for the safety of both the juvenile and the public” because of his “prior history of assaultive and unpredictable behavior,” the state Department of Public Safety said.

Details about how the boy escaped weren’t immediately released. He had made a juvenile court appearance Tuesday morning, the public safety department said. He was seen in the facility wearing leg restraints and no shoes, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was wearing a white T-shirt and beige pants near the facility, at the intersection of North Carolina Highway 27 and Country Club Road in Lumberton, the sheriff’s office said. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he still had the leg restraints.

The public safety department said state law prohibits it from releasing details about the charges against Jericho because he is a juvenile. The law, however, says authorities may release the first name and last initial of certain juvenile escapees.

Authorities asked the public to report any sightings of the boy.