2 escaped Tyler County Jail inmates in custody

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 6:51 PM CDT
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WOODVILLE, Texas (KTRE) - Two escaped inmates, one a murder suspect, are back in an East Texas jail.

According to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford, around 6 a.m., jail staff discovered 27-year-old Blaze Hicks and 36-year-old Christopher Mobley missing from their cell.

Law enforcement found the two in Hardin County, about 50 miles from Woodville, where the jail is located.

“Our number one concern in these instances is getting them back in our facility,” Weatherford said. “The safety of our citizens is paramount. We want to make sure they’re safe. It is such a relive to get them back in our facility.”

Weatherford says about three hours after being notified that Hicks and Mobley escaped, multiple law enforcement agencies found them in Northern Hardin County, south of Tyler County. Weatherford said it is not known at this time how the inmates made it that far.

“Now the investigation of how this happened,” Weatherford said. “How can we keep this from happening again. We have to be better about what we were doing.”

Weatherford said investigators believe the two inmates escaped the jail through the ventilation system.

“As Sheriff, I feel like I failed my community on the aspect that these individuals are held in my custody, awaiting trial, and now they’re out on the streets,” Weatherford said. “So, to be able to get them back in our facility within three hours is a credit to the whole law enforcement community.”

The Tyler County Sheriff’s Office, Hardin and Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, Woodville Police, Texas Rangers, Texas Department of Criminal Justice K-9 Units and Tyler County District Attorney’s Office assisted in the search.

“I can’t stress enough how much of a joined effort this was with all of our local agencies as well as state resources,” Weatherford said.

He said Hicks is in jail on a murder charge and Mobley on a charge of assault family violence. The Sheriff said now they face escape charges and more could be pending.

“It’s a hinderance on me to know that our public is fearful for their lives in that aspect,” Weatherford said. So now the investigation begins. We’re going to figure out where the ball was dropped on this. Anyone that may have facilitated, helped with this escape or anything like that, they will be held accountable as well. There was a mistake made somewhere. As Sheriff, I’m owning that. We’re going to figure out where that mistake was made and do corrective measure to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”

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