Escaped inmate may not have been in Natchez

Published 12:47 am Wednesday, June 14, 2017


NATCHEZ — The escaped Hattiesburg inmate who had local law enforcement on a manhunt after the escapee was allegedly spotted in Natchez may not have been in Natchez after all.

Interim Police Chief Shawn T. King told Mayor Darryl Grennell and Natchez aldermen Tuesday afternoon that escaped inmate Anthony Boyd Lamar was back in custody after being spotted in downtown Hattiesburg on June 5.

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King said he spoke to investigators at the Mississippi Department of Corrections who said Lamar had set up a camp less than a half-mile from where he walked off of his work detail.

King said, in his experience, usually escapees go to places for a reason.

“When they escape, they usually go where there is something for them, like a relative,” King said.

He said after talking with Lamar, investigators did not know of such a connection Lamar had to Natchez.

King said after talking to investigators, it looks like “the inmate never left Hattiesburg … was never here in Natchez.”

Sheriff Travis Patten said he has not spoken with MDOC officials since Lamar’s capture and had not heard anything about speculation that Lamar was never in the area.

Residents on Woodville Drive in Natchez reported seeing a man that matched Lamar’s description on June 1, and local law enforcement authorities searched for him until late that evening before turning the search over to MDOC.

Regardless of whether the man spotted behind residents’ houses on Woodville Drive was the escaped inmate, Patten said his officers would have responded similarly to the report of any suspicious person.

“We will always investigate, regardless, when citizens make such claims,” Patten said.

Lamar, 56, was assigned to the Forrest County Community Work Center. Since his capture, he has been returned to prison. He faces an escape charge, and, if convicted, could receive an additional five years in prison. He is currently serving a 16-year sentence for residential burglary in Copiah County. He was sentenced on July 18, 2016.