Travis Davis had already escaped custody before he broke out of the Pettis County Jail. He escaped authorities again in Oklahoma, but was caught after returning to Sedalia.
After a nine-day manhunt that crossed state lines and included an extensive search in Cooper County, police found the man who broke out of the Pettis County Jail last week hiding in an attic early Tuesday morning in Sedalia.
When he escaped on the night of March 10, Travis Lee Davis was being held at the Pettis County Jail for allegedly holding a woman and a baby against their will and threatening to kill them. Sedalia Police arrested him around 4 a.m. Tuesday morning after officers found him hiding in the attic of a detached garage of a home on the 2100 block of East Seventh Street in Sedalia.
After he was arrested, Davis claimed to have a medical issue, and was escorted to the Bothwell Regional Health Center for evaluation. He was cleared by medical staff and taken back to the Pettis County Jail where he is being held without bond, according to the Sedalia Police Department. Davis is charged in Pettis County with felonies for escaping confinement, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree domestic assault, first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, and two counts of resisting arrest.
After escaping from the Pettis County Jail on March 10, Davis was first spotted around 7 a.m. on March 13. Police found him asleep in a car outside a travel stop in Heavener, Oklahoma. Christole Hurst notified police that Davis kidnapped her and was forcing her to drive him. Sedalia police knew Hurst as Davis’ girlfriend, and authorities now believe she was his accomplice.
Officers from Heavener Police Department and corrections officers from the Jim E. Hamilton Correctional Center approached Davis, who ran through the travel stop parking lot, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
Officers handcuffed Davis and put him in the back of a patrol car. While they were interviewing witnesses at the travel stop, Davis shimmied through the partition and into the driver’s seat, then drove off in the patrol car. Davis crashed the patrol car about two miles down the road, then disappeared.
Later that morning, Officer Devin Harriman and Det. Coty Biles of the Salislaw Police Department in eastern Oklahoma shot and killed Shawn Taylor, 26, of Stillwell, Oklahoma, after someone called police to report him walking down the side of a highway. The caller said Taylor looked like Davis, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigations.
Police said they shot Taylor because he came after them with a knife. His brother-in-law told local TV news outlet KFSM that he didn’t believe the police account, because Taylor wasn’t combative and he’d run away from every fight he’d ever been in.
Law enforcement realized Davis was back in Missouri after someone notified Pettis County deputies Sunday night about a suspicious pickup truck driving west of Clifton City in northeastern Pettis County. Deputies found the red 2001 Dodge pickup abandoned a few miles to the west. Deputies found that the truck had been reported stolen from Heavener, Oklahoma, where Davis was last spotted.
Davis has a history of running from law enforcement, with two prior convictions for resisting arrest plus several recent attempts. He was arrested on Feb. 1, and taken to a hospital for treatment of an apparent drug overdose. He fled from the hospital before he could be re-arrested, according to court records. On Feb. 7, Davis drove off when Sedalia Police tried to stop a minivan he was driving. He crashed the van on Tanglenook Road, north of Bothwell Park Road in Pettis County, but escaped on foot, according to court records.
While in the Pettis County jail on domestic assault and kidnapping charges, Davis was able to climb up the jail cells, get into a false ceiling over the showers, climb behind a cinderblock wall, kick out some of the cinder blocks and access the maintenance area, Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond told the Sedalia Democrat.
Davis and Hurst will both be extradited back to Oklahoma to face further charges there. Davis will face charges of escaping custody and two counts of vehicle theft, and Hurst will face charges of making a false police report and aiding a fugitive.
Cooper County Sheriff Jerry Wolfe could not be reached for more information on the search that occurred Monday night in Cooper County.