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.
“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.