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Rick Scott, Governor
Florida Department of Corrections, Secretary Julie L. Jones

Florida Department of Corrections
Julie L. Jones, Secretary

Press Release
July 25, 2014
For More Information
Contact: Communications
(850) 488-0420

Holmes Correctional Institution’s K-9 Team Instrumental In Successfully Capturing Fugitives

Tallahassee, Fla – On separate occasions this week, the Holmes Correctional Institution’s K-9 Team assisted local law enforcement in successfully capturing a suspect wanted for two felony warrants and two escaped inmates from the Holmes County Jail. These captures prevented immediate danger to the public.

On July 22, The Holmes Correctional Institution K-9 team tracked down a suspect wanted for felony warrants for burglary and dealing in stolen property. The suspect was initially confronted by law enforcement and fled into a wooded area. When the team arrived at the scene, a track was immediately established and continued for approximately 45 minutes with a distance of 200 yards. The suspect was located behind a store in a wooded, residential area.

On July 23, two inmates, Jeffrey Morrill and David Challender, escaped from the Holmes County Jail. The Holmes County Sheriff’s Office requested Holmes Correctional K-9 Team to assist in the recapture of the two inmates. The Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex’s K-9 team and Jackson Correctional Institution’s K-9 team were deployed for assistance. A track was established. Inmate Jeffrey Morrill was located a mile from the jail and was transported back to the jail. The K-9 teams continued the search for the second inmate. The K-9 teams discovered two tracks which separated into two directions. The Northwest Florida Reception Center Annex’s K-9 team followed a track and arrived at the Holmes County Recycling center. The K-9 teams conducted a search of the surrounding buildings and discovered inmate David Challender, hiding inside a trailer filled with tires. He was apprehended and transferred back the jail.

These successful fugitive captures can be accredited to both the extensive training and skill of the Department’s K9 Teams, as well as the Department’s ongoing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies. The Department has 38 K-9 programs statewide which are used to support other law enforcement agencies with felon apprehension, searching for missing persons, and locating and providing aid to persons in distress. In Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the Department’s K-9 tracking teams were deployed 710 times.

These types of community partnerships contribute to the Department’s mission of ensuring the safety of Florida families.

(Back Row) Sergeant Price, Officer Barfield, Sergeant Brock, Sergeant Cates, Sergeant Walsingham, Colonel May
(Front Row) Officer Benton, Officer Cooper, Sergeant Register, Officer Meeks


As Florida's largest state agency, the Department of Corrections employs more than 22,000 members statewide, oversees more than 100,000 inmates and supervises nearly 146,000 offenders in the community.

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