GRAFTON, W.Va. — A fugitive from the state’s minimum security prison at Pruntytown didn’t stay on the lam long. State police said Monday they had a pretty good idea where Rodney Hypes, Jr. was headed after he left the Taylor County lockup.

WV Regional Jails

Jessie Shipley alleged helped Pruntytown inmate Rodney Hypes escape to Nicholas County.

“They were pinging cell phones from one of the subjects who supposedly drove him down here,” said trooper Jeffrey Davis. “They had information she had dropped him off in the Cottle Loop area of Craigsville.”

Davis joined trooper D.L. Gordon of the Richwood Detachment and several Nicholas County sheriff’s deputies who went door-to-door seeking information. They soon learned Hypes was hiding in the woods behind a family’s home.

“We hit that wooded area and pretty much stumbled upon him laying in the woods under a tree with a green hoodie drooped over his head,” Davis said. “When we came upon him, he was ready to go back to jail I believe. He didn’t put up any kind of incident at all.”

Once back in custody, Hypes reportedly told authorities he simply walked out the front door of the minimum-security prison. He was assisted in the escape by his girlfriend Jessie Shipley, 26, of Grafton. She was arrested by state police Sunday and remains lodged in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $50,000 bail, facing charges of harboring a fugitive and soliciting an escape.

The state Division of Corrections picked up Hypes from state police and placed him in the Mount Olive State Prison Sunday.

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  • Sabrina Ward

    For one thing, Hypes is my first cousin. I know for a fact he is NOT a rat. As a matter of fact, He's served time for rats, and because of rats. So, before you start assuming, and making your assumptions public, learn the facts. You don't know the life He's had to live. Nor do you know anything about him. He's definitely not a "Bad Guy". Just because He's in prison doesn't mean He's a bad person. Like I mentioned before, you don't know the life He's had. Societies judge without knowing one detail. It's not fair to run your mouth or judge when you've never spoken one word to the person. Junior is like my big brother, but for the prison time, He's just an accomplice, who didn't rat. And served the time instead of telling on someone like the pathetic pieces of sh*t who co-defended. Smh.

  • bg

    What is going on. Has she gone to jail yet.

  • VW GTI

    She most likely met him at FSU where she has met plenty of prisoners doing community service. She got the inmates in trouble because she kept going up there just to talk to them every time they was there.

  • River rat

    Too bad that she made bail already. They will let her go like they do all the other drug heads.

  • Jima

    Terrible....sounds to me as if the so called big bad prisoner ratted on his girlfriend. Most likely some guy from a inner city that latched onto a local gal and used her up..,,happens all the time. He will go back into general population telling all his homies how he was set up when all along he's the rat- I may be wrong but I doubt it!

    • Reva

      From my knowledge bc I know many people tht know her. This not just with this guy, but with a few others has been going on for awhile. But she'd never taking them someone for them to try and make an actual escape. Usually just get alcohol go to her house drink up, then she'd take them back and they'd go back in. She jumps between guys. Only keeps the same one for so long. It's sad, and honestly pathetic. But this her life and I knew before to long she'd be caught. But it's also not my place to judge.

      • s

        It's sad bc she has 2 kids n a husband at home

        • dd

          Yep her husband is my nieces dad and I've always thought she was a pos.

  • Jason412

    How did they ping the cell phone of a person who "supposedly" drove the escapee somewhere? Is a warrant not required for that?

    • DWL

      Pinging a cell phone does not require a warrant as you, the cell customer, lease the airspace from the carrier. Your cell phone, emits a GPS locator onto their air waves, which thru triangulation, allows your exact location to be fixed on the grid. You don't want to share that information, which you allowed, get ride of the smart phone. The only thing a warrant is needed for is the voice or txt conversations.

      • P B and J

        Actually your wrong. Every phone You go up on requires a warrant (unless you're the CIA) and thanks Trooper for sharing to everyone a tool used for catching bad guy. Jeez

        • Justin

          I think everyone that watches any crime show should know that they do it all the time on the shows

          • P B and J

            Your correct about that! There's a difference between "TV" and just telling everyone though.

    • Joke

      What makes you think they didn't get a warrant? That would be an easy warrant to get!

      • Jason412


        I guess I was under the impression their was something called "evidence" needed to obtain a warrant to look for further evidence, not some he said/she said someone was "supposedly" involved.


        I think that may be true the cell phone carrier could ping you at any time,however I don't think the police can just use it at their with no warrant at their convenience.

        Any phone can be pinged, not just smart phones. With a smart phone I think the need for triangulation would be minimized, as Apple and other companies can tell the exact location of an iPhone at any given moment. I think the triangulation is mainly used on older cell phones.