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Search on for 3 men who cut hole in ceiling to escape Missouri jail, officials say

The Barry County Sheriff’s Office says that the U.S. Marshals Service has taken over, and the three are not believed to be in the area.

Three men who escaped from a Missouri jail last week by cutting a hole in the ceiling remained on the loose Tuesday, officials said.

Lance Justin Stephens, Matthew Allen Crawford, and Christopher Allen Blevins were discovered missing early Friday, the Barry County Sheriff’s Office said.

The three are no longer believed to be in the area, which is in southwestern Missouri close to the Arkansas, Kansas and Oklahoma borders, and the search has been turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service, the sheriff's office said.

Barry County Jail in Cassville, Mo.
Barry County Jail in Cassville, Mo.Google Maps

The three cut a hole in the ceiling to enter a water heater storage area and escape, NBC affiliate KYTV of Springfield reported.

Sheriff Danny Boyd told the station that the night of the escape there was a farm truck that was stolen, which was later found in Kansas.

Stephens was being held in lieu of bail after being charged with possession of a controlled substance and a weapon possession charge, according to county court and jail records.

Crawford was being held on failure to appear in theft cases, and Blevins was being held on firearms possession charges, according to online records.