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Officials: Georgia fugitives were cellmates; may have planned deadly escape

Manhunt for Georgia inmates

EATONTON, Ga. -- A Georgia corrections official said two escaped inmates accused of killing two prison guards have known each other for "quite a while" and it's possible they planned the escape together.

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Escaped prisoners Donnie Russell Rowe (left) and Ricky Dubose Elbert County Sheriff's Office

Department of Corrections Assistant Commissioner Ricky Myrick said 43-year-old Donnie Russell Rowe and 24-year-old Ricky Dubose have been cellmates more than once, but he wasn't sure whether they were cellmates at Baldwin State Prison just prior to their escape Tuesday morning.

Authorities say the two men overpowered and killed 42-year-old Sgt. Christopher Monica and 58-year-old Sgt. Curtis Billue on a prison transport bus before carjacking a driver who happened to pull up behind the bus on a rural highway.

They got into the stolen green Honda Civic and drove west on state Highway 16 toward Eatonton, southeast of Atlanta. 

There have been no confirmed sightings of the pair since, but Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills said they are believed to have ransacked a house in Madison, about 25 miles north of where the killings happened.

Sills said Wednesday that the two are then believed to have stolen a 2008 white Ford F250 pickup truck with the Georgia tag BCX5372 from a business about nine miles from the burglarized house.

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Ricky Dubose Georgia Corrections

The truck was stolen between 6 p.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, while the business was closed.

Officials said Wednesday evening the green Honda was found abandoned in Madison and the suspects are now believed to be in the white pickup truck.

Sills said both men were violent repeat offenders and are considered armed and dangerous. The two are believed to have two stolen Glock 9MM pistols in their possession.

"They just murdered two corrections officers in a brutal fashion," Sills said. "They're not concerned with anything regarding human life."

Both escaped inmates were serving long sentences for armed robbery and other crimes. The Department of Corrections said Rowe, 43, has been serving life without parole since 2002, and Dubose, 24, began a 20-year sentence in 2015.

A photo released by the sheriff's office in Elbert County, the site of his most recent conviction, shows Dubose with prominent tattoos. He appears to have a crown tattooed above his right eyebrow, writing above his left eyebrow and large letters covering the entire front of his neck.

Sills said its likely the fugitives have fled the county and described the search as a "very fluid, nationwide investigation." He said a reward for information that leads to their arrest has been raised to $115,000.