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Trio of fugitives recaptured after breaking out of Missouri jail

By Tim Bross

POPLAR BLUFF, Missouri (Reuters) - Three fugitives, two of them charged with murder, were recaptured on Tuesday about 16 hours after they escaped from a Missouri jail by crawling through ceiling ductwork, authorities said.

The three were caught in a salvage yard about five miles east of the jail with the help of search dogs from the Missouri Department of Corrections, Butler County Sheriff Mark Dobbs told a press conference.

Authorities identified the men as Matthew Cook, 29, Kade Stringfellow, 23, and Rodney Green, 40.

Cook is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man in a McDonald's parking lot and Stringfellow is charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of his infant son, officials said.

Green is charged with shooting a husband and wife, both of whom survived, then stealing their truck in rural Butler County, authorities said.

The three men escaped the jail, about 150 miles south of St. Louis, around 11:30 p.m. Monday and were recaptured at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Dobbs told radio station KFVS the Butler County Jail was poorly designed and that he and previous sheriffs had been trying to get county commissioners to repair it.

He said that walls do not extend beyond the ductwork.

"We have drywall ceilings in a jail," Dobbs told KFVS. "That's just unfathomable."

(Editing by James B. Kelleher)

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