Authorities captured three of four teenagers who overpowered a corrections officer and escaped from a youth detention center on Wednesday, while the search continued for the fourth, who is a murder suspect.
Donovan Nickerson, Raymir Lampkin and Stephine Woodley were found in Bridgeton more than nine hours after they fled from the Harborfields Youth Detention Facility in Egg Harbor City, 36 miles away.
The fourth teen, Michael Huggins, had not been captured. He was charged with the 2016 slaying of 21-year-old Davonte Lee, of Bridgeton, who was gunned down in a vehicle.
The New Jersey State Police Fugitive Task Force was concentrating its search for Huggins near the South Winds State Prison and Pamphylia Avenue in Bridgeton.
Authorities said it was not immediately clear how the escapees got as far away as they did.
The Atlantic County sheriff’s office said the youths drove off in the guard’s car, sideswiped a vehicle and crashed into a home before they ran off.
The guard was taken to a hospital and officials say he is expected to be OK.
Sixteen schools in the area were closed on Wednesday morning during the search, which also involved a state police helicopter and assistance from local police departments.
The mayor of Egg Harbor City issued a recorded warning to homes in town around 3:30 a.m., telling residents that the escapees were on the loose and advising them not to open their doors for anyone.