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Brown Captured in New Mexico, Two Still at Large

Tracy L. Brown, 57, is one of three men that escaped from the Iron County Jail on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. He was captured in New Mexico on Wednesday, Jan. 20.

One of the men who escaped the Iron County Jail during the early morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 16, has been captured. Tracy Brown, 57, was taken into custody Wednesday night in New Mexico.

According to the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS), members from the USMS Eastern District of Missouri Fugitive Task Force developed information Wednesday that Brown and his girlfriend, Diana Thomas, had left the Denver, CO, area and were headed to Tularosa, NM. The information was passed on to the USMS Southwest Fugitive Investigation Team (SWIFT) in New Mexico. 

Members of the SWIFT saw Brown and Thomas pull into a gas station in Carrizozo, NM. At approximately 11:15 p.m. (MST), members of the SWIFT, along with New Mexico State Police took Brown and Thomas into custody. During interviews, Brown and Thomas told members of the SWIFT that all three escapees had driven to Colorado together but split up in Denver. Information gathered from the interviews have developed several more investigative leads, which has led to the arrests of known associates, including family members of Dwight J. Abernathie and Samuel Gillam, who are still at large.

The USMS of Eastern Missouri has been in contact with the USMS District of Colorado with regard to the fugitive investigation of Abernathie and Gillam.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to their arrest.

U.S. Marshals have been leading the investigation and manhunt for the three escapees since Saturday, when Iron County Sheriff Jeff Burkett made contact about the escape. 

All three were in custody on local charges. Gillam was being held on an original charge of kidnapping. Abernathie was in custody on an original charge of assault. Brown was in custody on an original charge of burglary. The three allegedly moved a block wall to make their escape. All are now facing additional charges, including fleeing from a correctional facility.

Gillam and Abernathie should be considered dangerous. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is urged to contact their nearest law enforcement office.

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