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Fourth escapee from youth development center captured; one still missing

Anyone who has any information regarding the escapee is asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

FAYETTE COUNTY, Tenn. — UPDATE 11/25/2020 - (FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF NEWS RELEASE) - A fourth of the five youth detainees who escaped from the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville on November 7, 2020 has been apprehended. Law enforcement partners in Christian County, Kentucky located the fourth escapee.  Only one escapee remains at large.  The one escapee that is still at large is from the Johnson City area of Tennessee and is not believed to be in West Tennessee at this time. 

The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office would also like to clarify that law enforcement officials are not “refusing” to identify the juveniles and release their names as some media reports have suggested.  Tennessee’s juvenile laws forbid us from releasing this identifying information, even in criminal matters.  We reiterate, it is state law that is preventing the release of the juveniles’ names, photographs, etc. – not a decision by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.   

Anyone with any information regarding the remaining escapee is urged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

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11/24/2020 - (FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF NEWS RELEASE) - Two of the five youth detainees who escaped from the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville on November 7, 2020 are still at large. 

Three of the five youths were apprehended in Memphis as part of a cooperative effort between the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and area fugitive task force members.  The two individuals that are still at large are not from the West Tennessee area. 

Investigators have charged three family members who were responsible for harboring the three escapees that have been apprehended so far.  Those individuals have been charged with Permitting or Facilitating Escape because they knew the individuals had escaped from the facility, provided shelter and/or attempted to hide the escapees and made no effort to report their location to law enforcement.  

Laletha Irving, Asha Franklin, and Sharda Jeffries are each charged with permitting or facilitating escape.

Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's Office
Laletha Irving
Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's Office
Asha Franklin
Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's Office
Sharda Jeffries

Anyone with any information regarding the two remaining escapees is urged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

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11/16/2020 - (FAYETTE COUNTY SHERIFF NEWS RELEASE) - Two of the five youth detainees who escaped from the Wilder Youth Development Center in Somerville on November 7, 2020 have been apprehended.  The youths were apprehended in Memphis as part of a cooperative effort between the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and area fugitive task force members.  Investigators say that charges are being sought against individuals who helped harbor the youths after their escape.  The two detainees have been returned to DCS custody.

Because the escapees are juveniles we are prevented from releasing names, charges or other identifying information. Anyone with any information regarding the three remaining escapees is urged to contact the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

Meanwhile, On Sunday night 11/15/20 the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Wilder Youth Development Center shortly after 10pm reporting that there were 3 juveniles attempting to escape the facility.  Officers arrived and were informed that the juveniles had escaped their dorms and were believed to be trying to scale the security fence.  Deputies who set up a perimeter found multiple detainees had exited their dorm and were climbing onto the roof of the building and being non-compliant.  Shortly after 1am employees at Wilder advised Deputies that all 11 of the detainees from that dorm were back under control and accounted for.

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11/7/2020 - The Fayette County Sheriff’s Office are searching for five teens that escaped overnight from a youth development center in Somerville, Tennessee. 

According to a press release from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the five boys escaped from the Wilder Youth Development Center between 10:30 p.m. Friday night and 08:30 a.m. Saturday. 

It is unknown at this time how they left the facility or what they are wearing. 

Authorities described the escaped teens as black males, ages 16 and 17 ranging from 120 to 165 in weight. 

Anyone who has any information regarding these escapees are asked to call the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office at 901-465-3456.

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