Crimetracker: Grainger County deputies searching for escaped inmates

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Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Claire Welch lives right across from the Grainger County Justice Center. When she heard three men had escaped:

"It could be any kind of danger to any elderly or compromised citizen, or even a very alert citizen that might not know that these people are out of jail and roaming around out there," said Welch.

Deputies said Dennis Rucker, Shane Farrow and David Valentine likely climbed over the rec-yard wall. They noticed them missing after a head count around 10 Sunday night.

They're serving time for a variety of crimes including child abuse and neglect, assault, theft, drug possession and aggravated burglary.

"If they're in jail you know, there's a good possibility they're dangerous," said Van Staley, who also lives close to the jail.

Some people said deputies knocked on their door early Monday morning, telling them the men are armed and dangerous and to be on the lookout, but others said they haven't heard a thing.

Wanda Miller is scared. So far, deputies haven't contacted her about what's going on.

"I heard it on your TV program at lunch," said Miller.

She said she's worried about her husband's safety, since he leaves for work early.

"It's dangerous - it's before daylight. And we're in our mid-seventies. We'd like a little bit more protection than that," said Miller.

Deputies are asking anyone with information to call the Sheriff's Office at (865) 828-3613 or Grainger County Central Dispatch at (865) 828-3337.


The Grainger County Sheriff's Department has released a statement following news that three inmates are on the loose after escaping from the Grainger County Jail:

"Three inmates were found to be missing after a head county around 10 p.m. Sunday night at the Grainger County Jail. The three apparently made their escape climbing over the rec-yard wall.

"The Grainger County Sheriff's Department have been conducting a diligent search for the three escapees since their escape. The escapees are Dennis Rucker, Shane Farrow and David Valentine.

"Anyone with any information please contact the Grainger County Sheriff's Department at 865-828-3613 or Grainger County Central Dispatch at 865-828-3337."

Watch WVLT Local8Now for updates beginning at 4.

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